Date: 12/30/19 2:56 pm
From: Carol Mo <cbmolander...>
Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Leucistic junco (?)
Thank you to all the birders who have supplied information regarding the junco in question. Also, to the many who have shared photos and stories of unusual pigmentation in birds they have observed. We have a partially leucistic female cardinal (her brown head feathers are white) who visits our feeders. I call her”Lucy”.

Perhaps the Sibley discussion of coloring in birds best explains the possible lack of pigment, causing the junco to appear buff/light brown. It may be eumelanin of the black pigment where the “normal” junco’s black feathers would be seen.

Happy birding to all of you in 2020!
Carol


Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 30, 2019, at 3:16 PM, Spector, David (Biology) <spectord...> wrote:
>
> The terms "albino," "leucistic," and "dilute" are used somewhat differently by different people, and some people get very adamant that their usage is the one and only "correct" usage. Here is one useful view of these terms:
> https://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/08/abnormal-coloration-in-birds-melanin-reduction/ .
>
> In some cases, such as young female juncos, distinguishing abnormally pale conditions from the extreme end of normal variation might not be easy.
>
> David Spector
> Belchertown, Massachusetts
>
> ________________________________________
> From: <massbird-approval...> [<massbird-approval...>] on behalf of Chris Heys [<chris.p.heys...>]
> Sent: Monday, December 30, 2019 2:42 PM
> To: Alvin T Laasanen
> Cc: Massbird
> Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Leucistic junco (?)
>
>
> Very neat. Does anyone reading this have a quick and dirty rundown on the difference between albinism and leucism in our avifauna?
>
> I understand albinism is loss of melanin while leucism is loss of other pigments aside from melanin and it did not affect the eyes. But is there a way to use the terms correctly simply by observing a particular bird?
>
> Chris Heys
> Jaffrey NH
>
>

 
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