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

‘Busier than we’ve ever seen’: Mountain biking around Terrace jumps

Terrace Off Road Cycling Association opened new trails on June 2

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine is planning to bring colour to communites

Economic development commission hopes to commission three murals

City of Terrace considers reopening playgrounds, day camps

Sportsplex and aquatic centre likely to remain closed through summer

District of Stewart receives funding for food security

Stewart is one of 54 B.C. municipalities to split $1.4 million

Scientists produce extensive map of Tseax Volcano, lava flow

Volcano had been studied previously, but never in such detail

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Most Read