As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

What the heck kind of bird is that?!

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff
Mar 02, 2016 - 6:00 PM 

Sudburian snaps rare bird photo, gets a 'Wow!' from The Birdman

Northern Life reader Linda Couture snapped this photo of a rare sight: A partially albino male pine grosbeak. Photo supplied
Northern Life reader Linda Couture snapped
 this photo of a rare sight:
A partially albino male pine
grosbeak. Photo supplied
When Linda Couture was watching some birds feeding in her backyard on March 1, one of them caught her eye.

It was a strange white bird with a yellow beak that appeared to have been splattered with red paint.

"One of them, I have never seen before," she told Northern Life. "I have checked on the Internet and in my bird books, but couldn't find anything on this bird. He looks a lot like a grosbeak, but it has a yellow beak and his body does not have the same colour as a grosbeak ... it was kind of eye catching."

Couture reached out to Chris Blomme, a local ornithologist and Northern Life's bird columnist (you can find a new column from 
The Birdman every month. Here's his latest.

Originally, Couture thought it may have been some kind of crossed breed, but Blomme said her original assessment that the bird is a grosbeak was correct the one — with one slight difference.

"This is a really neat bird. It is a partial albino male pine grosbeak," Blomme wrote back in response to her query. "The term leucistic (leucism) is often applied. There was a leucistic Canada goose at Lilly Creek for a whole spring one year.

"This is fairly unusual and I have not seen one before in this species."

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