Leucistic Hummingbird (Broad-tailed)

Walking on the Wild Side

Leucistic Hummingbird

(Broad-tailed Hummingbird)

 (2020 - Cotopaxi, CO)

Leucistic Hummingbird  (Broad-tail Hummingbird)Leucistic Hummingbird (Broad-tail Hummingbird)Image Description: A rare find, this luecistic broad-tailed hummingbird drinks nectar from flowers.

Back Story: Seeing a white humming bird for the first time is an experience I will never forget. I was alerted by a friend about a white hummingbird feeding in her yard. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to see and photograph one, I asked if I could come over to take some pictures. A hour and a half drive later, I arrived and found it was still there. Often, my first few pictures turn out to be my favorites as was the case here with the red backdrop making the white of the bird pop. Upon close examination of the photos I determined it to be a luecisitc humming bird, diagnosed by the normal coloration of eyes, beak and feet. With the help of some local biding experts the species was identified as a broad-tailed hummingbird.

Species: Broad-tailed Hummingbird ( Selasphorus platycercus )
Click on the photo to see sizes and prices for this limited edition print



Happy Fall Everone,

As the temperature drops and I watch the birds feeding heavily in preparation for migration, I am reminded of a day in late August of 2020. I had received a text from a close friend about a white hummingbird in their yard. This is a rare find, with only 1 bird in every 30,000 having an abnormal pure white or partial white coloration. The opportunity to see and photograph this bird was well worth the long drive, so off I went. My favorite picture from the day (above) froze the motion of the hummingbird in flight with its tongue just staring to protrude. The red of the shed in the background really makes the hummingbird and the flowers “pop”.


A few more pictures of the hummingbird from my visit. The second picture I call "Snow White" and this picture is available as one of my frame-able photo cards. To see all my frame-able cards you can click on this link ( Frame-able Photo Cards ). 

So what exactly is going on with this bird? As in many species across the world, genetic mutations can sometimes lead to a change in color. In this particular case it means that the colored pigments are not present. This can vary from a complete loss of melanin as in a true albino to a partial loss that results in leucisim. A true albino is defined by a uniform white coloration with pale pink or red eyes. If you look closely at this hummingbird you see the eyes are actually dark. Because of this it is considered leucistic, which is a partial loss in pigmentation. Additional variations can also happen with portions of a bird or animal being white and portions the naturally occurring colors which is called piebald.


Before I go on the search for more wildlife, I wanted to announce my first photo book.  The book was designed and printed through Far Country Press ( https://www.farcountrypress.com/ ) based in Helena,  Montana and includes 13 of my photos.  All pictures were taken in the wild of these adorable baby marmots doing what marmots do best.  The perfect gift for expecting parents, new parents and those young animals lovers. You can order one through me directly (just click on the picture below) or it is available on Amazon (click on word) where if you are a prime member you are likely to qualify for free shipping.


Marmot Babies Book by Far Country PressMarmot Babies Book by Far Country Press  


Lea Frye - Wildlife photographer


www.leaf-images.com     |      Lea Frye, Wildlife Photographer        |    Helena, MT

                     Wild Animals / Wild Landscapes



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