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CLOSED: Help - I'm seeking ID but not finding my mystery bird...

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

After way too many hours on Whatbird.com and enature, this silly recent bird has me scratching my head (and my DH scratching his head about all the time I'm spending squinting through my binoculars). Anyway, I have a very poor photo of this bird, mostly whitish gray, feeds on the ground, and has never been seen around here. We're surrounded by forest, and about 100 yards from salt water, if that helps.

Thanks for any help!

Thumbnail by galega
South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

Here's a better one...only slightly though. When it flies, the tail feathers are black and white striped. He might be some kind of dove, I've just not seen any types that he resembles. He hops and walks along the ground. Sorry about the grainy pictures, I'll try to get better ones when I can.

Thumbnail by galega
Marlton, NJ

Gosh it almost looks like a lucesitic (sp?) Robin to me.

Whidbey Island, WA(Zone 7a)

It sure does look Robin-esque . . .

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

It does look like a Robin in size and shape, but the black markings that are out of focus are really different looking. I was hoping to get a front shot of him, but he flew away. He comes down from the trees in the morning and feeds with the robins on the lawn throwing hunks of moss around (since my lawn is full of it).

Pelletory - what is the type of Robin you are referring to? I haven't heard of that - is it some form of a mutation, or a different relative? I would love to know more. We get a great variety of birds around here, and I have logged them all in the five years we've lived here...this guy has me stumped!

Murmur - I hope your forest project is going well!

Marlton, NJ

Yes a mutation of sorts. Resin would be better to answer the question thoroughly. I have seen it in a few House Finch here.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

A partial albino American Robin (not leucistic, that means 'washed-out' colours, rather than patchy white).

Resin

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Some terminology for mutations I . . .

Found this USFWS public domain pic of an American Robin:

Thumbnail by Resin
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Some terminology for mutations II . . .

And edited it to make a leucistic bird, with washed-out colours:

Thumbnail by Resin
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Some terminology for mutations III . . .

And edited it to make a partial albino bird, with patches of white:

Thumbnail by Resin
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Some terminology for mutations IV . . .

And to make a pure albino bird, with all-white feathering, and also pink eye, bill, legs:

Thumbnail by Resin
South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

Resin - thanks so much for the clarification. I suppose it could be a partial albino. I am going to get my DH to bring home his better camera to hopefully capture the markings on his wings and head. There is subtle light orange and white on his breast.

This morning, I observed that other robins feeding on the ground near him were charging him and looking like they wanted to scare him off. Unfortunately I didn't get a better photo before one of them succeeded.

Marlton, NJ

Thanks Resin!

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks to Resin, I've gotten a positive ID for this Partial Albino American Robin. Just this morning, my elusive birdy friend swooped down to take a bath in the pond...(whereupon I swiftly swooped into the kitchen and grabbed my camera)!

Following are the photos I got of this unusual bird.

Thumbnail by galega
South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

another...

Thumbnail by galega
South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

And the last one. Thanks for helping with the ID!

Thumbnail by galega
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Wow, very cool. I never knew there were albino mutations.

How about a picture of your whole pond too!!!

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

I didn't know about the mutations either, and was so surprised to see such a white bird in the lawn. It was a week before I could get close enough to it to get a good look.

I'll try to post a link to photos of the pond. I posted some photos last summer that showed it. Let me see if I can find the thread.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I know you are excited to finally get good pictures and an ID of your visitor....congrats!! Nature doesn't make mistakes!

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Kingsport, TN(Zone 6b)

Wow how interesting! Thanks for posting those pictures. I have never seen anything like that!

Whidbey Island, WA(Zone 7a)

Fascinating - what a treat to see such an unusual bird!

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

We have a lot of fun watching for him/her each day. Usually it appears around 6:00 a.m., and then around 9, again around noon, and a few times in the afternoon. We figure there must be a nest around in the tall trees bordering our property. We're still trying to get a clearer photo, but he's really fast!

Does anyone know if albinism is a predominantly male or female trait?

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

Whoops posted twice...sorry

This message was edited Jun 2, 2007 8:11 PM

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
Does anyone know if albinism is a predominantly male or female trait?

I'm not aware of any differences in frequency between males and females; it doesn't seem very likely on a genetic basis, either.

Resin

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

OK - Thanks, Resin! Now I am thinking it is actually a female, as it is often in the company of a darker robin, with coloring most likely to be a male.

Bristol, NH

There was a picture in the local free paper of one here in N.H. about a month ago. It didn't have as much white as yours. Pretty though . Jane 31

Tiller, OR(Zone 8a)

Wow! What a cool thing to see! You were most fortunate to get photos. Robins don't generally let you get too close, especially while they are on the ground. And this one is likely more wary than most.
You were honored!

South Puget Sound, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks - I cheated though and took them from inside of the house! This bird has been very visible lately, and I suspect there must be a nest nearby. One of these days I'll get a photo of it in flight - the tail feathers are black and white alternating stripes which looks really stunning as it flies. The wings are very white, so it looks a bit like a sheet of paper blowing around.

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