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.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Rare white magpie sighting delights South Australian birdwatchers

Updated 9 Jun 2018, 10:48pm

First, there was the exciting sighting of a black kookaburra in a West Australian backyard. Now bird enthusiasts in South Australia are talking about a rare white magpie that has been spotted in the Flinders Ranges.

The bird is mainly white and a very light brown where it would normally be black. It has been spotted frequently near a creek about six kilometres north of the town of Quorn.

Quorn resident and bird enthusiast John Paynter said the magpie does not let people get too close.

"We drove around and all of a sudden it was sitting right in the middle of the road, picking a bit of carrion off the road," Mr Paynter said.

"But once he worked out we were trying to photograph it, he took off pretty quickly."

Mr Paynter keeps birds and said the white magpie would be at a higher risk of predation than other magpies in the area.

"Obviously a white magpie is a lot easier to see than a coloured one, a dual-coloured one anyway.

"I'm hopeful that it survives, but the chances of that are probably a bit slim with the colour … these things don't tend to last in the wild but hopefully it will be okay and hang out for a while."
Birds SA secretary Kate Buckley showed a photo of the bird to other members and they said that while rare, the bird was not an albino.

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