One of the many feathered visitors to my garden is a male Blackbird with white patches on his head.
This is called ‘partial albinism’ which only occurs when a bird inherits the albino gene from both parents.
Some birds will only have a few white feathers, while others may be almost completely white.
The RSPB website says:
“Partial albinism is caused by the failure of pigmentation to reach certain feathers. While this is often hereditary, other factors such as unbalanced diet, old age and injury, or even disease and shock can cause albinism. In hereditary cases the white pattern is consistent from one moult to another, but albinism caused by environmental factors is often reversible.”
The most common birds which are have albino patches are thrushes, including blackbirds, at 29% and crows, especially rooks and jackdaws, at 11%.
This is the first year I have noticed the bird. A female blackbird often accompanies him on his visits.