Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Good Question 6

It's Quiz Night Tuesday!

And tonight's question is, can you ID this bird?

I will post the answer tomorrow night, good luck.

And the answer is:

A leucistic Brambling that we caught and ringed on Sunday.

The BTO's description of leucism is:

In leucistic birds, affected plumage lacks melanin pigment due to the cells responsible for melanin production being absent. This results in a white feathers, unless the normal plumage colour also comprises carotenoids (e.g. yellows), which remain unaffected by the condition. Although leucism is inherited, the extent and positioning of the white colouration can vary between adults and their young, and can also skip generations if leucistic genes are recessive.

The notes on Scouse Ringers blog say "One of the last Brambling out of the nets was this leucistic bird. Capturing birds with leucistic features is not uncommon, in most cases it is single feathers but in this bird it was more extensive and, interestingly, it was symetrical across the body."

I really like Scouse Ringer's new name for it, a Snowling!


  1. Not many people know this, but this is a Snowling (Fringilla nivigilla). Quite rare in these parts matey!

  2. I haven't a clue - but such a lovely one. Thanks for the quiz - I will check back later for the answer (I like those kind of quizes -smile).

  3. i would definitely say a bunting of some sort. :)

  4. My guess is it's a juvenile Brambling Findlay but I have to admit it really is a guess.

  5. My guess is a leucistic Brambling, Findlay, and if I had to put a sex on it, I'd say female.

    I'm hoping that you're going to tell us how this happens?

  6. tricky one that Findlay, judging by the amount of white I am thinking Snow Bunting that is maybe changing from winter to summer plumage, or a juvenile... or I may be miles away!! but interested to know what ?

  7. I looked last night and at first glance thought Snow Bunting then realised it definitely wasn't. I then wondered about juvenile Brambling but as they don't breed here didn't think it at all likely. At that point I thought I would leave it to those more knowledgeable. A great brain teaser Findlay, well done :-) Coincidentally, I have just been looking at a leucistic Blackbird on another blog.

  8. Looks like it's been out on one of our frosty nights Findlay.

  9. I didn't submit an answer as I was muddled I did think perhaps a Snow Bunting too, but also thought it was a Brambling going through moult from 1st winter etc, though I can see why it's called a snowling, great question Findlay had me stumped.