Since at least 2009 there has been at least one hypopigmented, or piebald, American Robin living in Alley Pond Park in my home borough of Queens, at least for the breeding season. It (or they?*) is assumed (confirmed?) to be nesting there each year but all I had ever managed were fleeting glimpses and couple of lousy photos. That changed on a recent visit when the partially leucistic bird and its mate decided to cooperate for me and my camera.

white American Robin at Alley Pond Park

partially leucistic American Robin

I am relatively certain that this bird is a female, as the bird it was associating had the darker head that tends to indicate male robins. Not only that, but the leucistic bird’s companion sang several times as well. It’s nice to see a bird that can be recognized as an individual and here’s hoping that she keeps coming back for many years to come!

*I am certain that the particular bird in these photos has been around since at least 2011 but the bird(s) in earlier years might be different, perhaps the parent of the bird in this post.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.