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A White Robin?

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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 00:13   #1
PaulS34
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Question A White Robin?

I've been unable to identify a bird I saw this afternoon. Hope someone can help. It was feeding on the ground of the Algonquin Golf Club golf course in suburban St. Louis, MO. It was near a few robins and was behaving very similarly. The bird was also robin-sized, but white all over with minimal brown mottling. It's breast appeared to be orange, like a robin's, but I mostly saw it from the back. Most striking was when it flew away, its tail spread in a fan-shape and was white with three equally spaced bold black stripes running the length of the tail.
Any ideas?
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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 00:24   #2
KC Foggin
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Hi Paul and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

I'm gonna go ahead and move this thread to the Bird Identification section as it will get a lot more feedback there.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 00:45   #3
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Just to clarify the stripes on the tail are running front to back? Could it have been a small raptor? Or more likely a Robin with pigmentation problems.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 04:23   #4
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Originally Posted by steveo View Post
Just to clarify the stripes on the tail are running front to back? Could it have been a small raptor? Or more likely a Robin with pigmentation problems.
I'm still not 100% clear about the tail. Are you saying it was white with a few black feathers (= longitudinal stripes)? If so.a leucistic robin sounds like a good bet. On the other hand, if the tail was pale barred with black (stripes running transversely), then it's likely to be something else, maybe a small bird of prey (e.g., a Sharp-shinned Hawk) as you suggest.

Last edited by fugl : Saturday 7th March 2009 at 04:27.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 04:31   #5
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I was thinking leucistic robin myself because they did say robin sized
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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 14:27   #6
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The OP says "black stripes running the length of the tail". If this was a raptor the other robins would not have been hanging around. Leucistic robin is the best bet. Here are some samples.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/45/13...86947c.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/51/14...d39773.jpg?v=0
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/202/5...efd9f9.jpg?v=0
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_OhmewYapZLs/Rh...M/DSC_0011.JPG

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Old Saturday 7th March 2009, 16:56   #7
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Thanks for the responses! It must have been a leucistic robin judging from the photo links. It was most similar to this one:
[url]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/51/14...d39773.jpg?v=0
The tail stripes WERE running front to back.
I had no idea such a bird existed. How common are they?
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