Edmonton is known as the magpie capital of Canada. Birdwatchers count between 2,500 and 3,00o of the black and white birds in the city each year. Of these, one in 1,oo0 may be a ghost magpie. The ghosts are grey where normal magpies are black. They have a mutation which prevents the pigment, melanin ( responsible for the black color) from being formed and deposited in the feathers. The condition is known as leucism and does not confer any particular advantage to the magpie. If anything, it's a disadvantage and the ghost magpies may find themselves "picked" on. The birds are not albinos who would have no pigmentation and red eyes as a result. Ghost magpies. They sound interesting so I'm keeping my eyes open. Thanks CBC where I heard about the one sighted in Edmonton today.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.