View Full Version : Never seen this bird before

06-08-2011, 01:50 PM
So while recuperating from surgery I get to do some things that I don't normally get much time to do. I was watching the bird feeder here in Illinois and we were getting our usual group of red winged blackbirds, finches, cardinals etc. But in a group of grackels feeding off the ground I saw one grackel-like bird with a completely white tailfeather. He was completely like the others except for the tail. It looked like someone had taken a white paint brush and ran it right down his tail feathers. I looked in my bird books with no luck. I then went to the internet and found some fascinating information. It seems that this guy is somewhat of a freak of nature. One website talked about albino birds while others mentioned that dietary problems could cause this in some birds.
Either way, it appears I saw something pretty unusual. So....... my question is this: Has anyone spotted such a beastie before? Is this guy more common than I think. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

06-08-2011, 02:02 PM
I think this is my guy: http://billofthebirds.blogspot.com/2010/07/weird-white-tailed-grackle.html

06-08-2011, 02:17 PM
Hi Pete,

I am not a bird man myself, but we do live in South Texas where we have a lot of grackels. We keep several feeders in the yard and when the grackels come through we have to stop feeding..they would eat you out of house and home. On occasion, very rare occasion, we have seen one with white tail feathers also.. Sometimes only one feather and a couple of times 2 or more. They are rare.

Jim M


06-08-2011, 07:00 PM
I have never seen one before even though it seems like every Wal-Mart I go to has a parking lot full of Grackels. Do u think Wal-Mart is breeding them?

06-08-2011, 07:04 PM
I'll bet it is a genetic flaw.

06-08-2011, 08:28 PM
I realized one thing once I started looking on the internet. I have been down this path before. It came back to me that I had looked for this white tailed grackel some time last year. He paid a visit to my feeder sometime last fall. So, regardless of what caused it, he seems to be making return visits or there are more of them out there.

06-09-2011, 09:11 AM
OK, I got him. Snapped this picture this morning. Got it through the glass of our sliding back door. Was afraid to spook him13432

06-09-2011, 10:48 AM
Not sure what causes it but we have had robins around here with quite a bit of white on them. Saw a hummingbird a few weeks ago that was kind of long and slim and had a patch of bright red with a narrow bright yellow band along the bottom edge of the red. It must have been some kind of mutation or something because I can't find any pictures of it. Wasn't ready to get a picture of it and never saw it again. Tom M.