Weird magpie

We looked after the in-laws’ dog last week. While we were out walking it one morning, I was distracted by a commotion coming from a tree at the end of the lane. I recognised the noise as a magpie, which I presumed was up to no good. Then it emerged from the foliage…

I was astonished to see the magpie was what could only be described as brown and white, not the usual black and white.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera to hand, but subsequent research revealed this Creative Commons photograph from the website:

Creative Commons photo from [ website](
Brown and white magpie next to its more traditionally coloured parent.

Apparently, the unusual brown colouration is caused by leucism, a condition involving a lack of pigmentation. Back in March 2020, I also saw a partially leucistic carrion crow on one of my regular walks.

I’ve taken my camera with me on every subsequent walk, but, of course, there has been no sign of this unusual bird.

Always carry a camera, people!

Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is currently working on a book about looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes.Website · Newsletter · Mastodon · Facebook

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