NORTH FORK – Patti Cottington has been feeding a unique little friend recently, and she wants to share her experience with the community.
Patti and her husband have been repeatedly visited at home of late by what appears to be an albino hummingbird.
“We feel blessed,” Patti says. “We have been feeding the hummers at this location for about seven years. I have been taking hummingbird pics as long as we have been feeding them.”
The presence of a hummingbird with albinism is a first for the couple.
Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair, scales or feathers of an animal, as is the case with the little hummingbird in North Fork.
Patti’s guest appears to have the clear distinction of red eyes, which apparently sets it apart from hummingbirds that are simply white.
When they first spotted the tiny snow-colored creature at the bird feeder with the rest of the gang, Patti says they decided to keep their eyes peeled and the camera ready. The plan paid off.
“This morning it showed up with in 10 minutes of watching. I guess they are quite rare. They captivate me!”
Over 330 species of hummingbird exist world-over. Albinism in biology is difficult to document for a few reasons, including the higher chance of predation an albino animal may experience due to poor camoflauge, so it’s hard to say what percentage of hummingbirds would be albino.
It’s tricky enought to capture a hummingbird in flight, let alone one as rare as this must be.
Kudos to Patti, and thanks for sharing.