A rare find has been seen flying around Central Alberta.
The partial albino robin has been spotted southwest of Sylvan Lake. It was born this summer and has about four other siblings, all of which look like an average robin.
“It is uncommon to see a partial albino robin,” said Judy Boyd, with the Red Deer River Naturalists. “It’s an interesting find. You do see the occasional albino bird, but it’s not an everyday occurrence, but it’s also not totally out there in left field either.”
The bird was first seen on Frank Sigurdson’s farm, 10 minutes southwest of Sylvan Lake.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen an albino robin,” he said. “It was playing around with the other robins and it was really neat.”
The robin is classified as a partial albino because of its brown eyes and small patches of brown colouring on its body.
If it was a full albino, it would have pink eyes and it would be completely white, said Boyd.
According to Wikipedia, albinism in birds is quite rare.
There are four degrees of albinism which include partial albinism. This is the most common albinism. There is also imperfect albinism and incomplete albinism as well.
A complete albino bird is the rarest. These species lack pigment in its skin, eyes and feathers. Even the beak, legs and feet are pale or white.
Wikipedia states complete albino birds are rarely seen in the wild because they are easier targets for predators. They also have weak eye sight and brittle wing and tail feathers. This could reduce its ability to fly.