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Photo © Keith Williams
Photo © Mary Roen

NestWatcher Finds Rare Albino Bird

When a clutch of four Eastern Bluebird eggs in Wisconsin hatched this summer, NestWatcher Mary Roen was surprised to find that one of the nestlings was not like the others. As the pale nestling grew larger and more feathered, it became clear that this youngster had albinism, a genetic mutation that prevents its body from producing melanin. 

Mary kept a close eye on the nest, monitoring it regularly for NestWatch as part of her long-term nest box monitoring efforts. The white-feathered bluebird grew up normally alongside its three siblings, with the only difference being that it fledged one day later than the others. Mary said of the experience, “This was the first time in my 34 years of bluebird monitoring that I had an albino bluebird.” Check out our Facebook post for more photos of the extremely rare chick.

Learn more about albinism in birds on the Project FeederWatch website.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology