Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rare, Nearly All-White Sandhill Crane at Bosque del Apache NWR

Birders and wildlife enthusiasts are flocking to Bosque del Apache NWR near Socorro, New Mexico for a glimpse of a rare, almost all white sandhill crane.

The unique coloration of this crane is likely a result of leucism, a condition where the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly. Different from albino because it doesn't lack all pigment, it has a few dusky grey feathers and normal-looking red forehead and eyes.

In addition to sandhill cranes, the refuge is seeing a spectacular influx of other migratory birds including a variety of ducks, hawks, bald eagles, songbirds, and snow geese.

Along with the colorful bounty of birds, the cottonwood trees are in full color and the weather is perfect! It's a great time to visit this remarkable national wildlife refuge!