Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe
Attract more birds with these small additions to your birdbath!
Water is known as the Magic Attractant. You can enhance the effectiveness of a birdbath by adding features such as misters, drippers and waterfall rocks.
Waterfall rocks are small, artificial rocks with an internal pump. The pump recirculates the water inside a birdbath, creating a constantly flowing waterfall. The sound of the moving water attracts the birds.
Pumps require electricity. If using electricity be sure to use a ground fault interrupter for safety. Some styles are solar powered and safer to use.
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Unusual White Feathers
Leucistic birds are more common than you think.
Each month we receive one or two images of birds with an unusual feather color pattern. The pattern can be symmetric or asymmetric.
The condition is called Leucisim and is not limited to birds. It is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.
We have seen birds with spotted areas of white to those that are pure white. The cause is not always clear, it could be from a genetic problem to damage to feathers as they are growing.
The next time you see a bird with a unusual white feathers, or an unusual white animal, tell your friends it is a leucistic color pattern (albino animals generally have pink eyes, leucistic usually have their normal eye color.)
A Turkey Vulture is typically all black with a red head. The pink eyes of this TV may indicate it is an albino.
Image of a leucistic grackle sent to us by Bernice.