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 9 August 2018

Rare white magpie sighting in Aussie state capital points to new behavioral insights

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-22 13:49:31|Editor: Chengcheng

SYDNEY, July 22 (Xinhua) -- A rare white magpie has been spotted in South Australia's state capital Adelaide, fueling interest among animal biologists and the community about new insights into the popular birds' characteristics.

The male magpie, found in the city's northern parklands, is not an albino but is instead leucistic, or having a genetic variation in its cells responsible for making black pigment, local media quoted University of South Australia biology professor Chris Daniels as saying on Sunday.

The bird's beak can still be black and its eyes the normal brown color, but the body "can be completely white, or can be a mixture of grey and white or can have odd white patches across it," Daniels told the ABC news channel. An animal with albinism usually sports distinctive pink eyes.

Daniels said the rare magpie will offer unique opportunities to study color and color variation in animal behavior.

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