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Old Wednesday 3rd November 2010, 06:55   #1
Taddduck
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Crow with white bars on wings

Driving down a country road in Southern-most Illinois and saw a crow at the side of the road. When it spread its wings to fly off I noticed wide white bars on the wings. One on each side next to and running parallel with its body. Was this really a crow or did I mis-ID this critter? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
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Old Wednesday 3rd November 2010, 07:06   #2
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Hi Taddduck,

A warm welcome to BirdForum from all the Moderators and Admin. Glad to have you on board

What you saw was probably a leucistic bird. Leucism is reduction in pigment leading to white or pale plumage. It is not that uncommon in crows.
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Old Wednesday 3rd November 2010, 08:24   #3
stonechat1
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http://birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=184790
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Old Thursday 4th November 2010, 05:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinm View Post
Hi Taddduck,

A warm welcome to BirdForum from all the Moderators and Admin. Glad to have you on board

What you saw was probably a leucistic bird. Leucism is reduction in pigment leading to white or pale plumage. It is not that uncommon in crows.
Thanks for the quick response. Would that condition manifest itself as two matching and well defined bars? Most of the bird pictures I have seen described as partial albino or leucistic have had no discernible form to the discoloration. Of course I've seen them all yet.
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Old Friday 12th November 2010, 14:28   #5
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Okay. That came out bad. I haven't seen them all. Guess I should read my post better before I post them. Sorry
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Old Friday 12th November 2010, 20:55   #6
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I have several partial albino Carrion Crows that frequent my local area including a family party showing white on the wings.

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Old Friday 17th December 2010, 00:12   #7
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American Crow with white spots

I got a couple of shots of this guy in my yard. He has been around for several months. This one seems to have spots of his breast. Are there very many with markings like these? I have been in Oregon for over 30 years and I have never seen one before.
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Old Friday 17th December 2010, 21:34   #8
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I think that there is evidence that it is a dietary deficiency or virus infection that causes these crows to have white in their flight feathers.

By chance I photographed one of these birds today and have put some more details of possible causes here.

Hope that is useful

Geoff
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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 09:34   #9
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Anomalous plumages: crows and others

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Originally Posted by dlr View Post
I got a couple of shots of this guy in my yard. He has been around for several months. This one seems to have spots of his breast. Are there very many with markings like these? I have been in Oregon for over 30 years and I have never seen one before.
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In reply to dlr & Tadduck, the occurrence of white or pale feathers in black crows occurs among many species or subspecies, but it may be limited to indviduals (a genetic aberration not shared with relatives) or a small part of a population (a transmitted genetic 'error'). For example, the Carrion Crows Corvus corone on Wimbledon Common in west London for many years had white on the roots of their secondaries (Haven't been there since 2001). However, the curious pattern of distribution of black and grey-winged crows across Eurasia may not be attributable to just one control gene that normally ensures that plumage variation within a single population is not excessive, but also to additional genetic effects. hence, the appearance of a black-plumaged individual among a Hooded Crow C. cornix 'grey crow' population may be due to the second effect where the control gene hasn't 'kicked in' (similarly grey-winged individuals in black-plumaged populations). I'm sure it will be much more complex than that, and subtly so!

However, many bird taxa display plumage changes while in captivity - Gouldian Finches, Budgerigars, show pigeons - a process that suggests that the operation of any control gene for plumage can be set aside or modified by 'nurture' differences, an almost Lamarckian suggestion. Also, the complexities of flamingo plumage colouring are far from fully explained.

I suggest that the above few examples may be the kind of context in which plumage 'oddities' can comfortably be placed, initially at any rate. It would be useful if somebody out there who really knows what they are talking about (unlike my selective examples) could enlighten us a little further!
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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 12:53   #10
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Sorry, that is what I was trying to do above.

In short, evidence from rehabilitation centres indicates that these white wing patches on crows are the result of dietary deficiency and calcium deficiency has been suggested. In domestic chickens there is evidence that the same symptoms are actually caused by folic acid deficiency. In Australian Ravens a similar condition is associated with circovirus infection. More details and links to sources on my blog.

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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 15:54   #11
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Sorry, that is what I was trying to do above.

In short, evidence from rehabilitation centres indicates that these white wing patches on crows are the result of dietary deficiency and calcium deficiency has been suggested. In domestic chickens there is evidence that the same symptoms are actually caused by folic acid deficiency. In Australian Ravens a similar condition is associated with circovirus infection. More details and links to sources on my blog.

Geoff
Many thanks, Geoff; that's appreciated.
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Old Monday 20th December 2010, 04:28   #12
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Many thanks, Geoff; that's appreciated.
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Thanks Geoff. That leaves me with another question? I really don feel that there is any lack of food in my area (Willamette Valley). However the potential for genetic defects due to polution is are fact. I wish I could say that most of our growers are organic (the number is increasing rapidly), the fact is that chemicals are still used by the majority. Could this account for a single member of a flock being different? DLR
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Old Monday 20th December 2010, 11:47   #13
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dlr - I think that the white feathers on your bird are in fact the regular type of leucism found in many birds and may well be the result of genetic mutation (or some other effect as you suggest).

The crows with the bars on the wings, on the other hand, also often show poor condition and damaged feathers which would fit with the suggestion of dietary deficiency, and maybe are found more commonly in urban areas?

Geoff
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Old Tuesday 2nd December 2014, 16:51   #14
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I think Tadducks crow moved to Canada, I just saw two identical to the one he described. Bright White wide bands/bars on each wing perfectly formed and equidistant from the body. Nothing random about them. These were also quite clearly very healthy crows, perhaps even a bit obese. In my opinion a dietary or vitamin deficiency would be highly unlikely to manifest itself in such a clear ordered fashion in multiple birds, I put my money on hereditary. Likely brothers/sisters from same nest. Would be fascinating to know if the dna of Tadducks crow & these are a match.

PS: I realize this is an ancient thread but thought it relevant to the topic and logical to add to it with this new sighting.
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Old Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 01:36   #15
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I've heard of the diet deficiency reason. When living in Wales for a bit all of my local crows had white feathers in their wings, some extensively.
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Old Tuesday 7th March 2017, 23:42   #16
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I've seen Tadduck's Crow

I've seen these crows. About 45 - 50 years ago in New Westminster, close to Vancouver. I was a child then, and another child told me they were Japanese Crows. I did a search on Japanese Crows and didn't find them, so I doubt that was true. About two years ago, I was surprised to see another one where I live now, about 8 miles away from where I used to see them. As described, the two bars were perfectly formed and equidistant from the body.
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Old Wednesday 8th March 2017, 01:42   #17
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Symmetrical white markings on the wings are fairly common in Carrion Crows in the UK (possibly especially in urban areas?). Diet is a plausible explanation as it would affect a "generation" of feathers (and thus at next moult the bird might get fully black wings again, if it got a better diet in between). Here's an example: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126840...7648419201604/

I'm not sure whether it "counts" as leucism or not when it has a dietary rather than genetic cause...
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Old Wednesday 8th March 2017, 04:16   #18
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The bars I saw on these crows looked too precise, and identical from one bird to the next for me to believe it was diet or leucism. I wish I had a picture or two. Although in the last 4 years or so I have seen pigeons with white blotches. They look like someone spilled white paint on them. I'd never seen them before that, and I've lived in this area all my life.
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/f...0113-p0114.pdf

The article in the above link suggests the white wing bars on crows is genetic.
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Old Wednesday 8th March 2017, 08:22   #19
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I see plenty of Carrion Crows with white wing bars on in the UK these days. A feature that appears to be on the increase.
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