Monday, April 20, 2009

A BIRD SYNCHRONICITY



After posting just last Friday about leucistic birds, I started wondering why I haven't seen as many birds with the genetic condition (recessive gene) around here as I used to when I lived in the foothills. Here I had only seen the common grackle with the "salt-and-pepper" head, and two very pale cinnamon female house sparrows. Out west, I regularly had color-challenged gray-crowned rosy finches, common redpolls, and one year a rose-breasted grosbeak. So, I was thinking about this yesterday as I was posting for OSI, and I happened to look up from my computer toward the bird feeder when, and I kid you not, a totally leucistic bird landed in a mixed group of starlings, cowbirds, red-wings, sparrows etc. I jumped up and grabbed the camera, knocking over papers and scattering startled cats in all directions, but I got him!

These shots were taken through the window with only the little 3X zoom, but I think you'll be able to see the faint light beige head and neck that make it a leucistic brown-headed cowbird male (it was clearer with binoculars). The other birds nipped and jostled him, but then, they all were doing that with each other, so I don't think he was being singled out. He was there for about a minute, and I haven't seen him back yet. But I'm watching!

13 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Amazing! Glad you caught him/her!!

mom/caryn said...

It's interesting to watch birds... I'm not a "birdwatcher" per say... not like some of the rest of you. But we have a great view from of several varieties at the Hollow. My husband watched a huge Hawk swoop down and pull a Magpie from her nest the other day. The hawk took his catch to the ground and my hubbie sent the dog out to scare it away from it's prey. Was that wrong? How much are we supposed to interfere? We don't know, but hated to leave that nest without a mom... She flew back to her nest after a just a minute.

SandyCarlson said...

You educate me every time I am here. Thanks for these. It's exciting to that you caught these guys through the window. Glad the camera was handy!

Kathiesbirds said...

Wow! Fate doth smile on you! I've enver seen an leucistic bird!

Shellmo said...

That is a neat find! I hope he comes back!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Birds are probably more like people, or is it the other way around. That being said, I always stood up for the pip squeak in the cafeteria -- at least in elementary school I did. I was routinely called on to open particularly stalwart thermoses.

Lin said...

wow cool photo

I TAKE OFF THE MASK said...

Great shot! :-)

Rose said...

Thanks for the response about the other bird with those coots...at least you seem to agree it is not a coot.

You also got me wondering if I miss the color challenged birds here....as well as I wonder if you have seen more due to where you live. You know, a camouflage.

Quiet Paths said...

Now that is synchronicity for you! I love that!

fourwindshaiga said...

I found a white fawn hidden behind my garden about ten years ago. It's mom came to get it at night, and she was white too. For several years, we had white deer around, but the hunters finally got all of them.

Over the years, I have seen quite a few birds with white patches, but never a whole white one.

By the way, what did you do out west?

Indrani said...

Really, how much effort you take to give us these information. Lovely, so well taught with pics.

Raven said...

I never heard of this before... Now I want to see one too. I always learn something when I pop by to visit you. And I get to read beautiful poetry too.