Craig’s Leucistic Blackbird

Craig posted some cool shots on his blog today of what I believe is a leucistic male Brewer’s Blackbird:

He took the photo today outside the Craigslist offices, which I believe are in San Francisco. I did a quick googling for “leucistic Brewer’s Blackbird”, and it turned up this really interesting image uploaded by Flickr user Robinsegg on September 28:

I don’t know where or when that second photo was taken, but it looks similar-enough to Craig’s bird to make me wonder: could these actually be the same bird? The pattern of white feathers is not exactly the same; Craig’s bird has some white feathers on the upper back that the Robinsegg bird doesn’t. But it seems just possible to me that that could be the result of the bird undergoing a partial molt during the time between the two photos being taken. And there are a couple of really striking similarities: both birds have a patch of brown feathers toward the back of the crown, and both have what looks like a large white feather in the flight feathers of the left wing. On the Robinsegg bird, it looks like it’s one of the left tertials (or maybe a secondary?), while on Craig’s bird it looks more like a primary. Though I suppose it’s possible that it’s actually a new primary, just growing in, in the Robinsegg photo.

In truth, I think they’re probably different birds that just happen to look similar. But wouldn’t it be cool if they really were the same individual?

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