Feb 9-11 I represented The Center for Conservation Biology at the Morgan City. LA annual Eagle Expo. I presented a program on the satellite tracking of bald eagles by CCB since 2007. During the Expo I was fortunate to be able to take two boat tours in different parts of the Atchafalaya Heritage Area, Lake Varret and Bayou Black. The number of active bald eagle nests in the region is not known but on those two trips I saw about 40 eagles and almost as many red-tailed hawks.
Photo 1 is a red-tailed hawk with abnormal plumage known as leucistic or partial albinism. Leucism is a genetic mutation that prevents melanin from being deposited normally on feathers. On this red-tailed hawk the head, chest and tail feathers are affected. Photo 2 is a normal plumage juvenile red-tailed hawk. Photo 3 is a banded bald eagle adult. Photo 4 is an adult with two chicks in the nest. Photo 5 a bald eagle adult framed by spanish moss. Photos copyright Reese F Lukei Jr.
Beautiful photos! Thanks so much.
Love our Louisiana eagles!! Reese I saw my first eagle while driving on the parkway that runs parallel to the Red River (I’m from north La.) And I see hawks almost every day. The Spanish moss shot is beautiful! Thanks.
WOW! How interesting is the first RTH and you saw it and got a photo of it! Seeing photos of the eagles with the moss in the trees is beautiful and so different from what we see here.
Thank you for sharing your information with us.
Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing. Will the leucistic RTH be recognized or accepted as a mate by other RTH’s?
Response – Yes, the feather color does not seem to make any difference.
You must have had a wonderful time exploring the bayous. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photographs.
Great pics Reese! Were you able to read the band and get any info?
Response – Could not read band.
Beautiful pictures! I especially loved the leucistic hawk and the eagle in the spanish moss. Thanks for sharing with us.
Reese a couple of years back I had a brown cowbird that came to my feeder with an almost white head (it looked a little yellow to me) Is this partial albinism. At he time I wondered if it could have crossbread with another bird.
Response – That does sound like partial albinism. I have seen where the next year feathers molt in normal – cardinals in my yard.
Thankyou for the answer Reese. Does this effect the health of the bird?
Response – Not sure what you are referring too but will guess you mean partial albibism. The answer is no effect on health of the bird.
Reese, you are an awesome photographer, and what a catch of the leucistic hawk! Thanks for sharing all your snags with us.
Reese-These are all beautiful, but #5 is my favorite…thanks for sharing.