Wintergreen Mountain 4/23/11

All photos are Marshall Faintich

I was up on Wintergreen Mountain this afternoon for the Earth Day 2011 event, and for signing copies of my book A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Wintergreen. A couple stopped by who said they had a chickadee that was mostly white, with some brown on it, and it has been visiting their bird feeder, and it was there last year as well.

I went over to their house, and it was right there. Unfortunately, it flew from a tree to a feeder that was in deep shadow under their porch roof, and when I changed my camera settings for the darker environment, it flew back to the trees, and all I got were some overexposed shots. But I did get a very good look at it - bright white with a brown bib and crown, and dark eyes. It was with a normal looking Carolina Chickadee, and I heard one or both of them making the normal chickadee calls. It looks to me like a heavily leucistic Carolina Chickadee, but would appreciate opinions. Would leucism also turn the normal black color to brown?

Leucistic Carolina Chickadee

Leucistic Carolina Chickadee

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