Can you spot the leucistic?

There are many things that bird-watchers use to identify the birds they’re looking at, whether it’s the size and shape of the body, shape of the beak, flying silhouette or flight pattern.  However, probably the most used identification tool is the colour and pattern of the bird’s feathers.  Of course, every now and then a bird will appear that is just ever so slightly confusing. 

Leucistic oystercather (c) Alex Shepherd

Recently, a leucistic oystercatcher has been spotted in the Montrose Basin and, as this picture shows, you could be mistaken in thinking that it was another species all together.  Fortunately, its characteristic long, orange-red bill and distinctive flight shape remain the same as all the non-leucistic individuals.

Georgina Bowie, Visitor Centre Assistant

Preface

There are many things that bird-watchers use to identify the birds they’re looking at, whether it’s the size and shape of the body, shape of the beak, flying silhouette or …

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