Date: 3/31/21 4:55 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Fwd: White Robin [White Robin at Same Beaver Cr. Location in Late 1970s. Lincoln Co.]
Hi -

I also have seen several leucistic American Robins over the decades, including one in (South) Beaver Creek. Certain species of birds seem much more likely than others to have leucistic individuals (or at least to have leucistic individuals survive to adulthood) and American Robin is one of these. Others include Red-winged Blackbird, Red-tailed Hawk, Common and other grackles, Canada Goose, some hummingbirds, and American Crow. Other than one Bald Eagle and one European Buzzard, all the leucistic raptors I am aware of were Red-tails (also not counting species with "normal" pale morphs: Gyrfalcon, Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, etc.). I also leave out Mallard, Wild Turkey, Rock Pigeon, etc. because artificial selection is at play in those species.

American Crows are interesting because many of them have the same pattern of white: mainly on the inner webs of primary feathers. This leaves a wing pattern sort of like a Black-billed Magpie. I have heard arguments that this comes from a nutritional deficiency, versus a genetic cause. The resultant similarly to magpie wings suggests to me that crows have an underlying genetic template for that pattern, masked by genes for all-black plumage, and in the leucistic individuals something, either nutritional or genetic over-rides the black masking genes.

Arguably, it was a good thing several decades ago when we were exhorted to replace the terms "partial albino" and "albinistic" with "leucistic," But "leucistic" covers such a range of very different kinds of pigment deficiencies, that I find myself wishing for more specific terms. "Blond" grackles surely are a different phenomenon from otherwise normally-pigmented thrushes with a few all-white feathers.

Maybe Joel or Lars or someone knows of words in other languages that apply specifically to one of these phenomena?


From: "Lars Per Norgren" <larspernorgren...>
To: "Range Bayer" <range.bayer...>, "eholencik" <eholencik...>, "obol" <obol...>
Cc: "Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO)" <lcbno...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 3:23:17 PM
Subject: [obol] Re: Fwd: White Robin [White Robin at Same Beaver Cr. Location in Late 1970s. Lincoln Co.]

Harold Axtell, who makes a cameo appearance in Kaufman's "Kingbird Highway", once gave me a ride from Spring Valley ,NY to Marathon , FL. In the course of our five days on the road l learned a lot about America, from the Roaring Twenties up to the Ford administration. For about 40 years Harold was biology curator for the Buffalo Museum living with his wife across Niagra Falls on the Ontario side. For eight years in a row a Robin with white feathers in her left wing nested in their yard. She was a very successful parent, raising at least one brood a year. Molly, as they named her, was hit by a car the eighth season. Perhaps leucistic parents can pass it on.
I have seen partially leucistic Robin's repeatedly in my 52 years of birding, but with over 300 million Robins alive at any given time, that's to be expected. Only Juncos are more numerous, and l've seen several of them with inappropriately white feathers as well.

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Range Bayer <range.bayer...>
Date: 3/31/21 10:42 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: Elizabeth Holencik <eholencik...>, Oregon Birders OnLine <obol...>
Cc: "Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO)" <lcbno...>
Subject: [obol] Fwd: White Robin [White Robin at Same Beaver Cr. Location in Late 1970s. Lincoln Co.]


After Kate Scannell read Elizabeth's email below, Kate responded: " A fun aside.....Some time in the late seventies I became friends with Laimons Osis, who is my neighbor. On a walk by myself I had seen an "albino" robin in the exact same place that was reported in [Elizabeth's] email this morning. Not knowing what it was I went to Laimons, who had seen it also, and we have been friends ever since. ......Bird territories......... "

Leucistic birds are curious and interesting to see! Could leucistic robins have been nesting in the Beaver Creek area for so long? See picture of leucistic American Robin as part of " Podcast [and transcript]; Why Is This Bird Half-White? Unusual genetic mutations can eliminate color in a bird's feathers—in patches, or even across its entire body ." By BirdNote, May 14, 2018 at [ | ]

Range Bayer, Newport, Oregon.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Elizabeth Holencik < [ mailto:<eholencik...> | <eholencik...> ] >
Date: Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 8:22 PM
Subject: [obol] White Robin
To: Obol < [ mailto:<obol...> | <obol...> ] >

Here are some not great photos of the Leucistic Robin on N Beaver Creek road, Seal Rock. Found by Evan Hayduk about a week ago. Re-found by Check Philo a few days ago. I looked for it three times and it finally appeared today. It’s next to Bunnel creek which looks more like a very full ditch. It’s about 2 to 2.5 miles down N. Beaver creek rd. Interesting find!

Sent from my iPad

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