Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Leucism or Partial Albino? That is the question.

Duck, Duck .... What?
What kind of Goose is that?
April 2010

This goose was in a park in Kirkland, Illinois.
The goose has a unique look with the lack of black coloring on it's neck.

April 2010

This goose is in the Northern Illinois University Lagoon.
The head and neck have normal goose coloring,
however the feathers have no color.

They may be partial Albino or Leucistic Geese.
I am leaning toward Leucistic geese (or pied, a degree of Leucism).
In each case the geese have black eyes. Albino would have pink.
Lucism is a pigment coloration reduction disorder affecting the feathers.
About Bird Leucism


  1. Yup. Leucism. Albinism is a genetic condition that wipes out the body's ability to create the pigment melanin which would mean the eyes, neck, etc would be white as well. The reason you cannot have a partial albino is that since albinism is genetic it is always systemic, i.e. affecting all of the animal. Here's an excellent journal article, Not Every White Bird is an Albino: Sense and Nonsense About Color Aberrations in Birds by Hein van Grouw.

  2. Thanks Diane :)
    Thank you Kirk for your help and for the link to the article. It was very informative with great pictures. Much appreciated.

  3. I think your first couple of photos may be Greater White-fronted x Canada hybrid. Check big sibley p.77. I had one near Philly a couple of years ago (in the pond in front of Millbrook, Audubon's first home) - though the neck is different on your goose. But if they are mixing genes, no telling how things may come out.

  4. Thanks Chris, Hybrids are confusing to ID and actually quite beautiful to view. I found another pair and did a post on June 16,2010 called HYBRID GEESE BEAUTIFUL BUT CONFUSING. I appreciated your input and views very much ... thank you.