• Claire Stott

Albinism

There is a particularly recognisable and beautiful bird in the local pigeon flock, a beautiful albino male with bright white feathers and a distinctive red eye. Albinism is rarely seen in wild birds, as due to their obvious colouration and poor eyesight they usually fall victim to predators early in life.

Albinism is a genetic mutation which causes a total absence of melanin (pigment) in birds’ feathers. They can sometimes be confused with all white birds however a true albino will also have pink skin/legs and beak with and a pinkish coloured eye.

A true albino


Not an albino – this pigeon has normal colouration of the eye and beak


Thankfully being highly adaptable & opportunistic, as well as living in an urban environment with fewer predators, this pigeon continues to thrive. He must be at least 3-4 years old, as I have seen him regularly ever since I moved to the area in 2014.

Here are some of my favourite images:

This pigeon is one of my favourite birds in the flock, and is happy to follow you around and feed from your hand when offered. Whilst pigeons are vermin to some, I find them fascinating and thoroughly enjoy spending time in their company and photographing various aspects of their daily lives.

After all, there aren’t too many wild birds that will let you within touching distance!

— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2017 © http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#wildlife #birdwatching #albino #birder #unusualplumage #birds #ornithology #nature #pigeon

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