Phil Jackman forwarded these images of a leucistic juvenile Starling present in his Kettering garden this weekend. While generally uncommon, leucism (really a lower concentration of melanin) in juvenile Starlings has been recorded on numerous occasions and invites confusion with juvenile Rose-coloured Starling which, however, has a largely yellow bill (especially at the base) and pale lores.
Also, this individual has already begun its post-juvenile moult, which commences with the wing feathers – in this case all the juvenile greater coverts, except the outer two, have been replaced.
This feather tract is again different to the equivalent plainer feathers of Rose-coloured. It’s interesting that these first-winter feathers are apparently normal, suggesting the bird’s leucism (lack of melanin) is age-related.
Many thanks to Phil for the images of this interesting bird.
4 thoughts on “Leucistic juvenile Starling”
Pretty sure I snapped a very low-quality photo if this guy in my garden, or at-least one with very similar markings.
Hi I’m not from your area but was wondering if you would be interested in pics I have of must been parent starling as it visited all of last winter and I seen it nested near neighbours houses this year. And now one of the offspring visiting and two colours are class different sadly parent hasn’t came back or I would seen it flying about thinking it’s came to the end of killed.
Thanks for your interest but really only looking at local birds.