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Carlyle, Illinois, United States
Note the bird on the left. Possibly a hybrid? Its behavior is slightly different, also. Rather than sitting in the feeder like the rest of the House Finches, this bird grabbed a sunflower seed and flew to a nearby perch to consume it. The bird’s back is slightly different from House Finches, too.
Leucistic house finch.
This is a leucistic house finch.
“Leucism (/ˈluːsɪzəm, -kɪz-/) is a term used to describe a wide variety of conditions which result in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal—which causes white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticles, but not the eyes.”
For leucistic animals to survive in the wild, they often have to be more wary than their peers with typical markings because they’re so easily singled out by predators. They’re also sometimes of lower social status in species where looks can play a role in dominance (they may also be less dominant because they’re young, as few will reach their full lifespan potential). This may explain why the oddly-colored finch preferred to take its food to a less exposed or less crowded spot.
Of course, sometimes there’s also just the animal’s personality – I notice some specific birds at my feeders are more bold or more timid compared to others of their species.
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