Actually, the old expression goes, “That’s a horse of a different color” but I borrowed it for this post on leucistic birds. Leucism, also called partial albinism, can occur in any animal, including people, and it regularly found in many birds. Totally white leucistic animals can often be mistaken for albinos, but on closer inspection, leucistic creatures don’t have the diagnostic pink eyes and other pink body parts associated with true albinism. Most of the leucistic birds I’ve seen have had splotches and splatters of white, or colors that appear faded or washed out. Not too long ago I saw what I sure was a leucistic common grackle at my feeder, but wanted to see it again to be certain. My silo feeder has several seed ports in a vertical line, and I often see birds with white streaks or spots on their bodies from having been feeding at a lower port when the bird above it relieved itself! Weeks later, I saw the grackle again, still sporting the same arrangement of white – after many days of rain! And this time I was able to get a least a quick, blurry photo.
Here are a few other amazing photos of familiar leucistic birds (robin, common grackle, unidentified species of hummer) and one very un-camouflaged leucistic moose I found at Wikimedia Commons and Google images.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.