Friday, September 9, 2016

powder white sprite

Warren and Tiffiny Hamlin can be found at Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop on Kingston Pike. They love birds. And if you love birds you tend to watch a lot of birds. And, as this thread of logic goes, if you watch a lot of birds every so often you see something wondrous. 

Nature has a way of revealing its moments of awe when you least expect it.

The Hamlins had just gotten home from a vacation and were tending to the hummingbird feeders in their backyard when voilà they DID see something wondrous: a powder white sprite, a leucistic hummingbird had stopped by for a visit.

Similar to albinism, leucism is a genetic disorder resulting in "white, pale or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes" as in a true albino. Unlike albinism it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin as in albinism.

But that's a lot of nuts-and-bolts science talk when the end result is something very rare and very beautiful: a pallid pixie like Tinkerbell. And it underscores the importance of being awestruck every now and then. It rocks your world. 

We are at the peak of fall hummingbird migration. Keep your feeders out and clean and fresh. Let's hope the powder white survives the fall migration and comes back next year.

Thank you, Warren for sending me the beautiful photographs. 

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