This white hummingbird was found this week at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center, one of the fabulous South Texas birding and nature centers that I featured in a blog here a few months ago. A very talented photographer, Robin Zurovec, captured these fantastic photos of the hummer and graciously allowed me to share them with everyone here. I think she did a great job of capturing these hummer in flight, which is challenging for all who photograph hummingbirds.
This hummer is feeding on a blossom on a Turk’s Cap, which is a shrub native to Texas. The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands has 3.5 acres of native butterfly habitat including these Turk’s Caps–native flowers are excellent for attracting not only hummingbirds and butterflies but also many other species of birds.
This gorgeous hummer was first photographed by Mati Lopez, a local lady who posts a lot of birds she photographs at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands on their facebook page. It didn’t take long for hummer-lovers from around the area to flock to this great nature site to see and get their own photographs of this white beauty.
Though this hummer is mostly white, if you look closely you can see that it does have some color in some of it’s feathers plus it has dark eyes, feet and legs. Albino birds have red/pink eyes, bill, legs and feet. This is a leucistic bird, which the Cornell Lab of Ornithology states is an “abnormal deposition of melanin.” [Corrected text] This bird has been identified as a leucistic Black-chinned Hummingbird by hummingbird bander and expert Bob Sargent after it was originally identified as a Buff-bellied Hummingbird. According to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Hotline, Bob Sargent noted that this hummer is “an immature just out of the nest, as the white feathers are not worn.”
Leucistic and albino hummingbirds are both very uncommon. I was delighted to view and photograph a partial albino hummingbird here in Colorado and I posted about it here on this blog last fall.
Have you ever seen a white hummer?
If you have photographed a white hummer, either leucistic or albino, if you have it posted on a facebook page or website you can share the link here so others can enjoy it (just type in the link with a information about it below).