Rare White Hummingbirds Dazzle Bird-watchers

I love seeing hummingbirds of any hue. Their velocity and speed through flowers delight birds, sparkling like gemstones in the bright sunlight. However, seeing a white hummingbird is unforgettable.  

White hummingbirds aren't a species, although their condition can make them leucistic or albino. Complex reasons explain the bird's distinctive pigmentation.  

Dr. Kevin McGowan of Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy explains biology in human terms: "I like to compare it to starting your car," he explains. You get in your automobile and try to start it, but it would not. Why? That might happen for dozens of reasons, but the car doesn't move."  

He adds scientists believe a white hummingbird's snowy feathers are due to heredity, development, or food. Finally, scientists are often stumped.   

“You look at a white hummingbird, and it can be hard to tell exactly why.” We know it involves pigment formation and deposition in the body.”  

A white hummingbird may amaze birders, but what about other hummingbirds? Not so much.  

He said, “For hummingbirds, it's all about the male display.” “If you don't have the costumes, lights, and flashy colors, you'd better dance.”  

Hummingbirds convey their all-white hue to their progeny depending on its source. Kevin claims a genetic flaw for melanin deficiency can be passed down. Developmental methods are not genetic, thus the answer is yes and no depending on the problem.”  

Beyond locating mates and avoiding predators, white feathers may disadvantage birds. Kevin says melanin is needed for feather structure and support, which white hummingbirds lack. Thus, their feathers may wear out faster than those of regular-colored hummingbirds.  

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