Saturday, 19 September 2015

Bird of the week - Snowfinch

I'll bet you won't have seen one of these before.  This bird has been around in the garden of my friends David & Viv in Northumberland for several weeks and I was lucky enough to see it when I called in to see them.  Judging by the shape and size of the bird and its bill I think it is a leucistic chaffinch.  It has pure white plumage and a pink bill and pink legs but normal eyes.

I have reported it to the BTO Abnormal Plumage Survey which collects data on birds with unusual plumage and Clare Simm, the survey organiser, agrees with my ID of this bird.  The survey's results so far show that the top ten birds most likely to have abnormal plumage (leucism, melanism, albinism) are, in order, blackbird, carrion crow, jackdaw, pheasant, rook, robin, great spotted woodpecker, house sparrow, bullfinch, and chaffinch.

Many thanks to Viv & David for letting me see this bird (and thanks for the plums).  Read more about plumage abnormalities here.  Take part in the BTO Abnormal Plumage Survey here.


  1. How stunning :-) Have you seen the recent photos of the Leucistic GS Woodpecker in Dumfriesshire on FB? Another very striking bird.

    1. I haven't seen it Laura as I don't have access to Facebook. I'll keep an eye out out on Flickr and other open sources.