[CT Birds] Albino/Leucistic Robin, Norwalk

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Tue Oct 23 09:23:49 EDT 2012

Now that is a question. The latest approach to this, as I understand it, is as follows: Albinism is a genetic defect that prevents melanin production in the body. However not all colors are due to melanin. Other pigments can be present, such as carotenoids. So it is possible for a bird to show color and still be truly albinistic. Leucism is a defect that prevents or inhibits the deposition of melanin, but melanin can be present. Since the eye of the bird was dark, there was melanin present. An absence of melanin (albino) creates the pink eye, since the only source of color in the eye would be blood. So this bird should be termed leucistic. If a bird shows a truly pink eye, and is totally white, OR is very pale with only colors that are not due to melanin (such as warm browns or reddish-orange wash, etc. from carotenoids) it should be considered albinistic. Ah, and colors can also be due to structure, such as the gorgets of Hummingbirds, and the color blue in feathers, but that is another thing all together. There! Clear as mud!


David Provencher

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Subject: [CT Birds] Albino/Leucistic Robin, Norwalk

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