June 8, 2018
SYDNEY — One of Australia’s rarest birds, the “black kookaburra,” has been photographed for the first time in Western Australia, local media reported on Friday.
The iconic Australian laughing bird naturally has white, brown and blue feathers. Experts believed the black kookaburra captured by an anonymous amateur photographer is likely the result of a highly unusual genetic mutation.
“What we know is that some mutations in birds can upset the production of pigments and result in excessive production of melanin, which is the very dark pigment,” West Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions ornithologist Allan Burbidge said.
While there has been a handful of sightings on the east coast of the country, the photograph, taken 300 km south of Perth on a property near the township of Manjimup, is believed to be the first recorded West Australia sighting in almost seven decades.