<< Previous Next >>

White Blackbird

White Blackbird
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 1000, Canon EF 1.4x Extender II
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Albinism and leucism [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-31 1:44
Viewed: 8526
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A partly albinistic male Blackbird at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. I was not there to look for this bird. In fact one of the regular visitors mentioned that this bird is resident there. Just some 30 minutes later noticed this fellow underneath some trees acting like a proper Blackbird should, making lots of noise and throwing leaves and twigs around in search of food.

Unfortunately the amount of light was dropping dramatically as we were interrupted by heavy rain. These pictures could have been better but I was too conservative in changing the ISO settings to higher and higher numbers. Another picture is posted as WORKSHOP.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Albinism in birds is rare, occurring to any extent in perhaps one in 1800 individuals (Terres 1980). A bird that is albino (from the Latin albus, "white") has white feathers in place of coloured ones on some portion of its body. A bird that is naturally white, such as a swan, goose, or egret, is not an albino, nor is a bird that has seasonally alternating white plumage.

Four degrees of albinism have been described. The most common form is termed partial albinism, in which local areas of the bird's body, such as certain feathers, are lacking the pigment melanin. The white areas may be symmetrical, with both sides of the bird showing a similar pattern. In imperfect albinism, the pigment is partially inhibited in the skin, eyes, or feathers, but is not absent from any of them. Incomplete albinism is the complete absence of pigment from the skin, eyes, or feathers, but not all three.

A completely albino bird is the most rare, lacking any pigment in its skin, eyes, and feathers. The eyes in this case are pink or red, because blood shows through in the absence of pigment in the irises. The beak, legs, and feet are very pale or white. Completely albino adults are very rarely spotted in the wild. They are likely easier targets for predators because their colour distinguishes them from their environment. Falconers have observed that their trained birds are likely to attack a white pigeon in a flock because it is conspicuous. A complete albino often has weak eyesight and brittle wing and tail feathers, which may reduce its ability to fly. In flocks, albinos are often harassed by their own species. Such observations have been made among red-winged blackbirds, barn swallows, and African penguins. In a nesting colony of the latter, three unusual juveniles—one black-headed, one white-headed, and one full albino—were shunned and abused by companions.

Albinism has been reported in all orders and in 54 families of North American birds. The American robin and house sparrow led bird species in the incidence of albinism. Albinistic white appears to replace brown pigments more often than red or yellow ones; records suggest a greater incidence in crows, ravens, and hawks than in goldfinches or orioles. In Indian Ringneck Parrots, the bird usually has vibrant blue or green feathers, and albinism has changed these vibrant colours to white. Some have a vibrant lutino colour, but red eyes. Male albino Indian Ringnecks lack their prominent black ring around their neck, and in lutino males, a white ring is replaced.

Abnormally white feathers are not always due to albinism. Injury or disease may change their color, including dietary deficiencies or circulatory problems during feather development. Aging may also turn a bird's feathers white.

eqshannon, Juyona, siggi, nglen, Adanac, goldyrs, Maite has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Nephrotome2: Albinism - leucismpekkavalo1 1 11-05 03:01
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

i like its expression full face ;)
very good lighting

nice mutation, poor bird... TFS Ori

Black is a tough colour to image. white is a hard colour to image. you have them both in one bird, down perfect. Period. End of Story!

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-10-31 8:50]

Hello Pekka,
It's remind to me bird from exotic country. There are birds such unusual colours and shape for me from North. Very good shot.
TFS, Pawel

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-31 8:51]

exquisite capture,
really fortunate to shoot this blackbird.
Congratulations ...
saludos Pekka

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-31 11:08]

Hello Pekka

A lovely portrait of this albino Blackbird.Excellent DOF and POV.The details are very crisp and sharp.The colours are well saturated.Excellent composition.Regards

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-31 14:04]

Hi Pekka. Often other birds do not like this sort of thing and will kill a bird like this.But this one seems fit and healthy. As you say in your notes doing what a black bird does. Good detail and colours. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-31 18:51]

Hello Pekka,
Very good capture of this one of a kind blackbird. You have captured splendid detail and colors in this fine setting. Great work Pekka.

What a contradiction, my friend!I'd never heard of this beautiful bird, the White variety, at least!
Very well done, and excellent notes!

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-11-01 2:12]

Hi Pekka
very interesting image
very good sharp and detail
well done.

Hi Pekka, elegant bird with wonderful details and superb sharpness, I like constrast against warm BG, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-11-01 11:29]

Hello Pekka
A curious Blackbird! Fantastic shot of this interesting specimen and very interesting note too.
Congratulations and TFS

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-01 14:58]

I saw a Blackbird with a white tail only yesterday!
Though it wasn't as impressive as this fellow!
Looks like he's been splattered with white paint! :-))
Very well captured.
Excellent sharpness.
Great exposure.

Well done Pekka!


  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-11-04 8:43]

Hi Pekka
Nice photo of this interesting bird.very good detail.Excellent notes.
Regards Jiri.

Stunning shot.
The display of white feathers on that one is also lovely.
Lucky shot.

Concerning albinism and partial albinism you should check your sources. Actually what you refer as partial albinism is leucism. Leucism is not partial albinism. The biological phenomenom behind albinism and leucism is very different.

Albinism is a defectof melanin. It affects the whole body including eyes (red). In species for which other pigments exist they are not lacking in albino specimen.

Melanism is a defect of migration of pigment to the skin during embrionic life. All pigment are involved. Cells reached by pigments are colored other are white. Leucism is often partial. Leucism may be total but the eyes are never red.

In numerous notes, leucism is mistaken for albinism.



Calibration Check