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Beige starling

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Robinia | 14:23 Wed 11th Jul 2012 | Twitching & Birdwatching
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I've just had what looked like a beige starling in my garden, there were other normal juveniles around. After a bit of investigation I see it's 'leucistic', not a term I knew. Are they very common? I've had blackbirds with random white feathers but nothing like this...this isn't the one in my garden but it's almost identical, very striking...

http://www.rspb.org.u...351/4760.DSCF1260.JPG

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http://www.birds.corn...Albinism_Leucism.html

Extract from the above:

Leucism is relatively unusual in birds, and albinism is rare. From 2000-2006, Project FeederWatch participants reported fewer than 1000 leucistic birds. Given that participants report about 5.5 million birds each season, the percentage of leucistic birds being reported is very small.

Typically birds with abnormally white feathers do not survive long because they are so much more visible to predators. Those that do survive may have trouble attracting a mate. Consequently, the mutated genes that cause albinism and leucism are less likely to be passed on to a new generation. If you are ever fortunate enough to see one of these oddly plumaged birds, consider yourself lucky!
Robinia, we've had one of those in the garden just recently. I've never seen one before. It seemed perfectly healthy, so it presumably had been accepted by the others. Strange that you should have seen one as well.
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Ooh 'relatively rare'? I will consider myself lucky then and hope it doesn't get picked on...we get quite a few magpies. That link's Canadian but the same most likely applies in the UK.
Yes Kiki, it's a coincidence - unless you happen to live down the road :o) This one was running with the others, very bold and knew exactly where the food was. I'm in the Derby area, I'd better not mention it on their website or I'll have the twitchers wanting to set up camp in my garden.

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Beige starling

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