Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Abcdefghijkl…L is for leucism

Leucistic Grackle

What the heck is leucism?  Leucism is the term used for identifying defects in pigmentation in the skin, hair, or feathers.  It is not to be confused with albinism.  Albinos typically have red eyes while leucistic animals have normal eyes.

If you’ve ever spied an animal that appears normal in all respects, but has white patches where white shouldn’t be and you just can’t seem to identify it, well, you have seen a leucistic animal. 

While it is an exciting thing to see a leucistic bird, one must realize that he will probably face dangers that other birds will not.  The fact that he has lost his natural protective camouflage makes him vulnerable to predators. 

In all my years of feeding and watching birds I have only seen two leucistic ones.  On one occasion I was lucky to have a camera available to take photos. 

In my natural ABC book L is for leucism


Christine said...

amazing fact here Crystal, not to mention a new word for me!

Judy Adamson said...

I only learnt that word since I've been blogging - from another bird-watching blogger. For several years in succession, the same blackbird with a couple of white wing feathers, came back to my garden to feast off the fallen apples. Of course it might not have been the same bird but it seems like too much of a coincidence that another bird would have exactly the same markings. Haven't seen him for a year or two though, which is sad, but I think he actually had quite a good 'innings'! (I hadn't thought of the disadvantage of his coloring that you point out, Crystal.)

Another interesting and informative post :)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Looks like "she" took bleaching her hair too far...couldn't resist that one!

Magic Love Crow said...

This is so interesting! Learned something new today ;o) Thanks Crystal ;o)

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Love this one! I've learned many new things with your trip through the alphabet.

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