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.

Friday 7 June 2019

Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary 'one in a million', keepers say

Updated 24 May 2019, 5:09am
A "one-in-a-million" albino magpie has been found living in Tasmania's north.
Key points:
Keepers say the magpie would not survive in the wild because its white coat would make it a target for predators
The bird is "an absolute character" and "prefers to be handfed despite being able to feed himself"
Experts say there are no accurate statistics that show how common albinism is in birds, but that social media has helped draw our attention to uncommon plumages
Instead of making its home in a suburban backyard, the unnamed bird lives alongside a yellow-tailed black cockatoo in the Trowunna Wildlife Park.
The young male was handed in as a fledgling bird late last year, and has been unable to be released into the wild.
"It was found at the base of a tree with no possibility of getting back to the nest," operations manager Darren Rumble said.
"As soon as we had the bird brought in, we knew we'd be taking care of him for his whole life — if we let him go, he won't last more than a day."
Due to the albino magpie's white pigmentation, Mr Rumble said it was susceptible to a high rate of predation.
"He'd be a prime target for crows or any other bird of prey," he said.
"He is a genuine albino and the statistics around a genuine albino magpie are around one in a million.
"You do see other forms of colour dysmorphia called leucism but that's a dilution of the dark pigment which can go into a creamy colour of the feathers, but the bird will still have normal coloured legs, beak and eyes.
"He's got the total absence of the pigment."

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