Leucistic Red Bellied Woodpecker
A few weeks ago we noticed a bird flying around and coming to the bird feeders. It appeared to be all white with a red cap. We don’t have all white birds so we started to investigate. We determined the bird to be a leucistic red bellied woodpecker.
This is a definition given on the web for leucistic: an abnormal condition of reduced pigmentation affecting various animals (such as birds, mammals, and reptiles) that is marked by overall pale color or patches of reduced coloring and is caused by a genetic mutation which inhibits melanin and other pigments from being deposited in feathers, hair, or skin.
This is somewhat different from an albino bird which has no color and pink eyes.only about 1 bird in 30,000 has leucistic or albinistic plumage. Based on these results, leucism and albinism are very rare occurrences among birds.