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Science & NatureNatureRobin white-breast

Robin white-breast

‎Harold McKay‎ sends this photo from his yard of a colour-challenged American robin, which I’ve heard other reports of around town this spring.

This appears to be ‘leucism’, a not-unusual condition in many bird species — a partial loss of normal pigmentation. I’ve seen robins with patchy white bits over the years, but never one with so pure white a breast.

Leucism differs from albinism (as in albino), which is a more-or-less total lack of pigmentation.

There does exist a ‘white-breasted robin’ species, but given their habitat is in the southwest of Australia, I feel confident in saying this isn’t one!

White-breasted robin (Quoyornis georgianus)

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