A white bluebird

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A leucistic bluebird (female?) with a normally colored male.

Today the garden had an unusal visitor who will, perhaps, be a temporary resident: a white eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis). Technically, I suppose she is leucistic, because she retains some faint, diluted color, and her eyes and beak are pigmented.  A true albino would have completely white feathers and pink eyes.

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I assume she is a female, because she was with a normally colored male who was busily stuffing pine needles into the nest box.  I’m a little surprised, not only by the white bluebird, but also that a new pair is moving in.  There was another pair nesting in that box earlier in the spring, and just before Easter, I saw a clutch of eggs when I quickly looked in.  I suppose the young might have left the nest in the last few days, but if so, this new pair have moved very quickly.  Actually, I suppose this could be the same male, with a new lady friend.  The previous female was normally colored, but I can’t tell the males apart.

If this pair produces a clutch, it will be interesting to see if any of the fledglings are leucistic.  Perhaps not, if the trait is recessive, unless the male is also a carrier.

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