I am not an ornithologist but this albino finch got my attention. I suspect that it is an incomplete albino since there is some pigmentation near the face, beak, and feet. I suspect that this finch belongs to the Woodpecker family from the shape of the beak but I welcome any other comments.
I first saw it on the ground along with some male Medium Ground Finches, and then he fled to the nearest tree while the other birds flew further leaving him behind. When he landed on the tree his woodpecker behavior became a little more apparent and his beak shape convinced me of his type.
I found him near “Los Gemelos” at approximate 600 m.a.s.l. on Santa Cruz Island. This is one of the highest areas of the island where the endemic Scalesia trees are covered with moss and epiphytes. I have seen many Woodpecker Finches in this area so it would seem this is one of the best places where such a strange bird could be found.
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Great picture and great bird! Any albino is a unique bird, but this bird is already unique being ultra-endemic. I don’t know the area myself but a quick search makes me think this bird is a small tree finch–look on google images, it’s a perfect fit. Woodpecker finches have much longer bills for poking in tree crevices. The woodpecker-like behavior is probably beak wiping–startled birds landing in a tree will often do this, seems to be a way for them to take out their frustration. And, of course, it grinds their beaks nice and sharp.
Thanks David, I had the feeling that in this photo the beak was longer than the Small Tree Finch but now I am not so sure. This albino did a little search around the branches in the tree where it landed giving it a Woodpecker behavior and not just a beak-cleaning move, hence my call.
We witnessed a similar looking albino finch-like bird in Georgia. I will post some pictures soon. Thanks for posting!
@Sandy: I hope you put a link to your post.