Leucistic Blackbird

This little blackbird was singing its heart out this evening near our house. It ‘should’ be black, and nearly all blackbirds are black (females are brown). But this guy is leucistic, meaning that it has an inherited condition that causes a lack of pigment in the cells responsible for melanin production.

It is said that the reduction of pigment in leucistic birds causes their feathers to weaken and be more prone to wear. Leucistic birds are usually more conspicuous, which puts them more at risk from predators. There is also evidence that leucistic birds might be less acceptable to potential mates.

Well, yes and no. Being an hereditary deficiency, you would have thought that leucistic birds would have died out with no one to carry the defective genes if the problem were that serious.

Perhaps the leucistic birds get help from their fellow blackbirds? We are learning how much cooperation there is between animals, and trees.


  1. Tamara says:

    Great photos, David! I’m impressed as I know precisely the tree we passed where you took these. Fun to learn more about this fellow too. What a chirpy, cheerful singer he is… I hope his fellow blackbirds help him out if he has problems being more the odd man out (if you get my drift).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, as we have learned, there is a lot of cooperation in Nature 😊


  2. How very interesting David, thank you! (And here’s more, if you’re interested… https://thehunterconservationist.com/conservation/why-is-some-wildlife-white/ )


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