This unusual American Goldfinch with white in the tail feathers turned up in our yard this past weekend.
Leisa Baker, Peterborough
Note: This is a leucistic bird, meaning that it is lacking pigment in the tail feathers. Leucism seems to turn up quite regularly in goldfinches. This condition is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents pigments such as melanin from being present on a bird’s feathers. Leucism can include scattered white patches (where there shouldn’t be any), a paler overall plumage or even a totally white plumage with almost no colour visible. D.M.