Featured Photos: Unusual cardinal, leucistic junco
FeederWatchers recently shared photos of two stunning birds that we wanted to share with everyone. First, Frank Sommer of Felton, Pennsylvania noticed an unusually gray female Northern Cardinal in his yard. Female cardinals typically show a warm, buff-brown color on the head and body. This bird, however, is a stark gray, similar in color to the Dark-eyed Junco in front of her in the picture. Otherwise, the bird appears normal and seems to produce all of the normal pigments except for those responsible for creating brown colors.
Another interesting bird photographed by FeederWatcher John DeVoter of Newmarket, New Hampshire, turns out to be a leucistic Dark-eyed Junco. According to John, “The bird is all white with black tips on its wings and tail, a black eye, and a light orange beak and legs.” This bird is lacking pigment in most of its feathers, but the dark colors on a few feathers and the black eye mean that it is not a true albino.
For more information on the differences between albinism and leucism, follow the link to the FeederWatch web site.