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Birdsong

Leucism in Cardinals (Pictures Included)

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I have a family of cardinals with unusual color variations. I sent a picture to Cornell, and they have concluded it is leucism--hereditary but not contagious or harmful for the bird. It is similar to albinism as it involves melanin. At least it got me bleaching all my bird feeders again. Here are some of the family members:

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I had never heard of such a thing. The beak sure looks weird on the second one. Sweet shots, especially the last one.

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The beak sure looks weird on the second one.

This is a juvenile. His beak has not entirely changed from dark to orange. If you look carefully, he has a drop of water on the lower beak, and on the upper beak, what looks like a shadow or anomaly is actually dark beak. It is all there. I took this shot through the glass of my slider because I didn't want to scare him off. It might skew things a little. I had the door open for the other two.

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Nice images and thanks for the info on Leucism. I'm glad to hear you clean your feeders. I rotate mine so when they get empty I can clean them up good.

Mic

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Thanks for sharing that, birdsong. I've run into some leucistic birds before, but never a cardinal. Nice to see something unusual. smile

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