TAMARA McDONALD, Geelong Advertiser
January 3, 2019 1:00pm
A rare and eye-catching bird has come to call Whittington home.
The white magpie has been at Julie Mitchell’s home daily since she moved in three years ago.
Experienced bird observer and Geelong Advertiser columnist Trevor Pescott said leucistic – meaning animals with light colouring due to a lack of pigment – magpies were “very uncommon”.
Whittington's Julie Mitchell has white magpie hanging out at her house. Picture: Mike
The birds have the unusual appearance is due to a genetic issue, Mr Pescott said.
“They’re so terribly conspicuous that if one does appear, if people do see it, they notice it,” Mr Pescott said.
Ms Mitchell said she had been told the bird had been in the area “for a long time”, and Mr Pescott said a white magpie had been known to frequent Whittington for an extended period.
But the rare bird has not been isolated from its black and white counterparts.
Ms Mitchell said it currently had a partner – a conventionally-coloured magpie – as a companion.
And luckily, the leucistic magpie does not swoop, Ms Mitchell said.
“It’s about the only one that doesn’t,” she said.