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.

Thursday 30 November 2017

Has a rare albino pheasant been spotted in Lancashire?

Published: 15:12 Wednesday 22 November 2017

While walking her dog on Tuesday morning (November 21, 2017), Tania Harasimiuk captured footage of what she believed to be a rare albino pheasant. Tania was walking her pooch just off Hoghton Lane in Hoghton when she spotted the white shape in the grass nearby.

Tania said: "I felt so lucky to see it, we’ve lived in Hoghton for the past 5 years and recently sold our house and move from the area. "One of our neighbours said he used to see a white crow here too for a while so maybe Hoghton is a special place." Albinism results in white feathers and pink eyes but true albinos are thought to be rare in the wild. True albinism in birds is caused by a genetic mutation resulting in an absence of an enzyme which controls the production of melanin.

Sadly, many albino birds die soon after fledgling due to their poor eyesight. After seeing the footage Alan Wright, Communications Manager for the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, said: "While there are a number of kinds of pheasant there are no white ones. It is likely to be albino or leucistic, the latter is when the colour has been washed out with dark rather than pink eyes, which are found in albinos."

"Obviously we haven't got a close enough look at this specimen to tell the difference. You will have seen albino - or part albino - blackbirds in your garden. "Some experts say white pheasants are not common but could occur as a result of intensive breeding for shoots and food. The ones that we are seeing round about are obviously escapees, like most pheasants which are not historically native to this country. "Seeing a white pheasant is obviously something different and exciting and again shows the diversity of wildlife that we have in the county."

Video footage and Read more at: 

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