[CT Birds] white blue jay

Scott Kruitbosch kbosch at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 13:18:08 EDT 2007


I once saw a Tree Sparrow that had a white face and upper breast - it is a
startling sight and I was fortunate enough to get some good pictures of it
to send to Cornell. But I would presume your Blue Jay, like my Tree Sparrow,
is partially albino. Keep in mind that Blue Jays have no blue pigment in
their feathers. The tiny particles in its feathers scatter reflected light
and make it appear to our eyes in the blue wavelength. It is the same thing
as the blue sky. I've heard that when the feathers are back lit or something
similar that the feathers appear black. On cloudy days like today the Jays
always look like a lot duller than normal as well. However, your description
of "completely white" sure sounds like a partial albino.

Feederwatch has some good examples of albino birds, as well as ones with
deformed bills:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/OtherStrangeBirds.htm

Scott Kruitbosch

On 3/22/07, dianetucker01 at comcast.net <dianetucker01 at comcast.net> wrote:
>
> I have been watching a white blue jay at my feeders for most of the
> day.  It is completely white where the blue ought to be, but retains all the
> rest of the black markings of a usual jay.  Can someone educate me a little
> bit on this phenomenon?  The single fox sparrow remains.  Thanks.
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-- 
Scott Kruitbosch
Stratford, CT
kbosch at gmail.com



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