Amateur B.C. photographer captures rare pale-coloured Canada Goose

Amateur photographer captured this photograph on April 28, 2020 of a leucistic Canada Goose on a Chilliwack waterway. (William Snow photo)
Chilliwack’s resident leucistic crow that lives in or near Sardis Park, photographed on April 7, 2020. (William Snow photo)

When amateur Chilliwack photographer William Snow was out with his camera recently to get some wildlife shots, he saw something he had never seen before.

It was a Canada Goose, one that almost looked like a ghost.

“When I saw it I could not believe my eyes,” Snow said. “I thought the crow was the only one but from the info it is rare.”

The crow Snow referred to is a white crow well-known among Chilliwack bird watchers that has been spotted for years, mostly in the Sardis Park area.

• RELATED: Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Chilliwack’s resident leucistic crow that lives in or near Sardis Park, photographed on April 7, 2020. (William Snow photo)

Like the resident crow, the pale Canada Goose that Snow photographed is the colour it is because of an abnormal genetic condition called leucism (pronounced LUKE-ism) that affects birds, mammals and reptiles. The result is pale colouring either in patches or, as in the case of Snow’s goose and the local crow, overall the feathers.

Leucism is often mistaken with albinism, but it is not the same. A leucistic bird still has normal eye and beak colour, and the discolouration may be only in patches. Albinism means an animal has no pigment anywhere at all.

“Albino birds are distinctly different,” according to Michael Stein in a National Audobon Society “BirdNote” report about leucism. “Albinos are entirely white with pink eyes and skin. Albinism has a different origin, too: problems with an enzyme called tyrosinase (pronounced ty-RAHS-in-ayse). Problems with tyrosinase lead to problems making melanin, the pigment that gives skin, feathers, and eyes their colour.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AnimalsNature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii libraries launch new ‘takeout’ curbside pickup service

As of June 5, cardholders can once again access physical copies of books, DVDs and more

Blacktail Haida Gwaii working to reopen with new covered patio

Chef-owner Edi Szasz hopes to reopen on June 25, the one-year anniversary of the restaurant

Skidegate daycare staff recognized for creative care during COVID-19

Staff have been using social media to share isolation activities, read stories and sing songs

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read