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Old June 12th, 2011, 08:18 PM
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Mr Pink, leucistic purple finch

Leucism is a condition that results when there is a problem with pigment metabolism in an animal. Sometimes it's called partial albinism, but a leucistic animal is not an albino--it does make pigment, just not 'normal' pigment.

This is a normal purple finch male after it's molted into its raspberry coloration in it's second spring (third year):

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And these are shots of Mr Pink, our very leucistic purple finch. Notice that he has brown primary feathers on the wing--he's making some pigment, so he's not an albino. Also, the eyes are dark, not pink as they would be in an albino. I've heard that a male purple finch's raspberry coloration is partially due to what they eat, not something that they manufacture--so this bird is light because over most of its body it isn't making the proper amount of brown pigment, but is still sort of raspberry colored because some of that pigment comes from diet.

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Isn't he cool?
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Old June 12th, 2011, 08:20 PM
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We got a very good look at him on the 24th when we managed to band him. You can see the band in these feeder shots, taken a few days after he acquired his new bracelet.

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Old June 12th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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So in love with Mr. Pink!

What does the band say on it and how long does it stay on him?
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Old June 12th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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It has a unique number on it and will stay on for the rest of his life. All of his data is tied to that numerical identifier. I hope he has a long life , but leucistic birds, especially one as light as Mr Pink, tend to really stand out even in a crowd, so they make good targets for predators.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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hazel...love the pics and the explainations.

Now I know what the red bird was I saw earlier this spring,,,it was a purple finch! I was so excieted to see something other than sparrows at the feeder, especially a reddish bird. *S*
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Old June 12th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Hazel, I love Mr. Pink, how did you manage to band him, that's so cool
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Old June 12th, 2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia36oh View Post
Hazel, I love Mr. Pink, how did you manage to band him, that's so cool
I won a banding opportunity through a local nature reserve, Claudia: The Main Event--banding birds at Hazel Run, 24 May 2011. It was pretty interesting!

TQ, there is a similar species, the house finch, that might also be in your area. Easiest way to tell which you have is to look at the back of the head and the belly. The male house finch will have a brown nape and more brown streaking on the flanks than a purple finch. The purple finch lacks the brown nape entirely.
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