Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I had heard there was a rare white Hummingbird in Santa Cruz at UC Santa Cruz’s Arboretum last year, but didn’t see it when I was there photographing Allen’s Hummingbirds that come to winter there.
This year a friend and I went over to find the tree it had been spotted hanging out in and we found both the tree and the rare white Hummingbird straight-away.
Here’s a description of Leucism, “Leucism, a developmental condition resulting in the loss of pigmentation. Unlike albino birds, which can’t produce the pigment melanin, leucistic birds produce melanin but can’t deposit it into their feathers. Albino birds also have red or pink eyes, but this hummingbird’s eyes are black, along with its bill and feet.
What makes this Hummingbird so rare is that it is almost completely white. Most leucistic birds are only partially affected, and have white patches of feathers amid colored plumage.”~Audubon.org
I spoke with a woman working at the Arboretum after my visit to find out if this is the same Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird that was there last May and she said, “they believe it is”.
It’s so striking, and pretty isn’t it? Poor thing has some kind of infection on its bill. I asked about that too, but they haven’t captured the Hummer to do any tests on it. So, they don’t know what the infection is. She did say he’s (it’s a male) getting better and the Hummingbird is zipping around acting healthy so, they’re letting nature run its course.
It flew away from its tree a few times, and I found it in the little fountain bathing but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of that. Unfortunately I spooked it. I did manage a few images of it preening and cleaning its feathers afterwards though. Here’s one.
It was quite a treat to find this beauty so quickly, and observe it for a short while. It’s the first Leucistic bird of any kind I’ve ever seen.
I hope it returns next year and I’m lucky enough to see it again.
I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!
Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017
More to come…