Date: 12/29/19 3:40 pm
From: Josh <opihi...>
Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Leucistic junco (?)
Hi MassBirders,

I posted here back in late June that a woodpecker was visiting my suet feeder which was aberrantly pigmented. Kinda like Carol’s junco, it did not have the irregularly distributed pure white feathers typically described as “leucistic”, but instead was generally paler all over than a typical individual of its species, gray in the places where other Downies were black. I’ve followed Carol’s lead and posted photos of the woodpecker on eBird now. I first noticed it on July 25. The critter got netted on July 1 when Neighborhood Nestwatch made their annual visit. It kept coming back to my suet for a few weeks, then disappeared for a while, but what I think was the same individual returned a couple of times later. On August 18 I was able to call this woodpecker “he” instead of “it", as a red spot started growing in on the back of his head. My most recent sighting was on November 12, at which time he seemed to be getting a bit less pale and the red spot more intense, so maybe was molting out of its original paleness? My time to be at home watching and refilling feeders has been far less than usual over the past couple of months, so I’m not sure if the little guy is gone now, or still coming in, or maybe has continued converging on normal coloration to the point that I can’t so easily tell him apart from the rest of his species….

Photos from June 25 & 28 and July 1: <>

August 18: <>

November 12: <>

Good birding,


Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
Amherst, MA

Vice-president, Hampshire Bird Club

Northeast Chapter head, Dragonfly Society of the Americas

> On Dec 29, 2019, at 4:02 PM, Chris Heys <chris.p.heys...> wrote:
> What an absolutely stunning bird. The only leucistic juncos I have seen had interspersed pure white feathers (like is seen sometimes in AMCR) as opposed to the light wash that your bird seems to have.
> I have been before, and would be happy to be corrected again on leucistic presentation vs. aberrant patterning.
> Chris Heys
> Jaffrey NH
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Dec 29, 2019, at 3:40 PM, Carol Baird Molander <cbmolander...> wrote:
>> My husband and I saw this dark-eyed junco among several others today. Is it a leucistic bird, a sub-species or just very light in coloring? Ebird link included.
>> Any thoughts?
>> <>
>> Thank you,
>> Carol Molander
>> Carol B. Molander
>> <cbmolander...> <mailto:<cbmolander...>
>> 508-748-3759 Home
>> 508-641-0991 Cell

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