birding-aus Leucistic Welcome Swallow

Subject: birding-aus Leucistic Welcome Swallow
From: "Niven McCrie" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 22:14:23 +0930
Hi all
I don't want to get into a debate over terminology, so if I was meant 
to use something other than 'leucistic', don't tell me about it ( :

Earlier this Dry season there was a Welcome Swallow (or poss 
Pacific Swallow?) at the Darwin sewage works that was completely 
white where it should have been rufous and showing spots of white 
in other places (e.g. wings) as well. During the period since then it 
has undergone a moult so that its colour looks entirely typical now 
for Welcome Swallow. In between it looked rather strange, with red 
spots scattered over its forehead and throat.
My questions are:
is this a fairly common occurrence, for these swallows to show NO 
is it common for leucistic birds to moult into normal plumage (a 
'white' Wandering Whistling Duck that visited the Darwin sewage 
works for a few dry seasons continued to be 'white' over a number 
of years, and may still be, or may be dead, or may have become 
normal and got lost in the crowd).
Thanks in advance for any gems of wisdom. The bird is still around, 
by the way, but is likely to disappear fairly soon as the wet season 
build-up closes in.


P.O. Box 41382
Casuarina 0811 NT
Ph. 62 8 89451130

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