Avian Expert Articles

Albino Magpie At Home In Tasmania

magpie
albino magpie

Nature is a “by the books” creator of life. In what is a high percentage of the time, it’s business as usual for the world that constantly speeds past us. But once in a while, nature seemingly looks away and a slight DNA “programming” shift occurs due to a myriad of reasons in the physiology of living things.

When that happens, an anomaly appears. Those “glitches” are often quite fascinating and, in some cases, are picturesque in appearance. Of course, in all cases, such unusual occurrences are definitely worth studying to help determine why they do occur. This is true of birds especially when the bird is quite different in appearance from its kind.

Albino Magpie Found In Tasmania

Recently, an albino magpie was discovered in Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia that encompasses approximately 26,000 square miles. It is vastly wilderness that is home to many protected areas like the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary, which, coincidentally, is where the young albino magpie was surrendered to. The magpie was discovered at the base of a tree where it was lost from its nest. As is the case with most albino birds, because of their unusual coloration, they are often targeted by their own or easily tracked and killed by predators. These unfortunate scenarios make it virtually impossible for a bird of this condition to exist safely in the wild. When such birds come into being, they are typically alone to fend for themselves.

This rare albino magpie is cared for by the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary, and is often found living near a resident yellow-tailed black cockatoo. It’s said that this magpie has an interesting and unique character as it enjoys being around people. It definitely enjoys being hand-fed, although it is perfectly capable of getting its own foods. It has a tendency to “converse” with people who find themselves near him. This magpie just enjoys being around people. Maybe it’s the attention it gets. Who doesn’t love a lot of attention?

Leucism Vs. Albinism

Albinism in magpies is unrelated to another coloration issue for birds and other creatures called leucism. Magpie albinism is considered a “one in a million” occurrence. Leucism is a more common condition that creates different color combinations while maintaining many of nature’s intended physical characteristics for the bird. Albinism, by contrast, is a distinct pigmentation issue that creates an all-white appearance and also adds in such quirks like pink eyes. The problem is caused by a complete lack of melatonin.

The Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately controlled park with 65 acres of safe territory for many creatures, including the endangered Tasmanian devils, marsupials, birds, and reptiles. It is also a sanctuary for many native plants. The sanctuary offers a variety of daily tours as well as educational workshops. In addition, the park is vested in conservation efforts with housing and fenced care for some of the Tasmanian devils the park is active with. For the magpie of this story, we wish him a long, long life, and continued happiness among those who come to see him.

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