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

Morning start: This famous singer is from the West Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Tuesday, May 26

RDCK recycling depots to join RecycleBC program

Some depots open, others close, and different materials will be accepted

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Suspected fentanyl and cocaine seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Castlegar and Creston skate parks opening May 27

The RDCK is asking skateboarders to take physical distancing protocols to combat spread of COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Most Read