Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge

Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron

Leucism (/ˈljuːkɪzəm/; or /ˈluːsɪzəm/) is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.

Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

For a long time we had thought this bird was a juvenile molting and getting the darker adult coloring. Then she had eggs and raised young.

Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

It’s been at least 2 months since I have seen her around the rookeries and had completely forgot about her. The other day she flew across the larger Heron rookery and I caught this series.

Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Rare Leucism Little Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

I have read about this condition in birds but this is the first time I have photographed it. In some species I’m sure it hurts their chances of survival. With a Little Blue I doubt it makes a difference, they are both white and blue during their lives. Also unlike albinism eye sight is not effected.

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