Bald Eagle Leucistic

The Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls Oregon was awesome! Not only did I get to meet Sharon Stiteler, aka Birdchick, I also was able to chat with Bill Thompson III of Birdwatcher’s Digest fame who, by the way, gave a most interesting and entertaining keynote presentation on the “Perils and Pitfalls of Birding.”

Even though the weather at the event didn’t always cooperate, a good time was had by all, especially the photographers in the crowd. Many people go to the Winter Wings Festival to see Bald Eagles, and there are plenty of them to observe.

According to one of the residents in the area, this leucistic Bald Eagle has been spending a few months in the Klamath Falls area for the past four winters! Click on images to enlarge.

Bald Eagle Leucistic

Leucism, according to Wikipedia, is a condition in animals characterized by reduced pigmentation, but unlike albinism, is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

Bald Eagle Leucistic

Leucism is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to the skin, hair, or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

Bald Eagle Leucistic

I love the brown mottled look it gives this adult bird.

Bald Eagle Leucistic

Much more interesting to me than the usual black and white variety.

Bald Eagle Leucistic

That’s all folks. It’s always nice to have a little variation in your life isn’t it?

Bald Eagle Leucistic

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Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.