Leucistic Whimbrel becomes much whiter after moult

By MaghrebOrnitho | 26 February 2015

Can a non-marked wader be relocated months after first sighting? Well, this is possible in only few cases including when the bird is leucistic and is alone in the region (so easily identifiable).

This is the case of a leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) photographed for the first time in the intertidal zone between El Jadida and Sidi Bouzid by Ruth García Gorria on 17 October 2014 (photo 1).

On 13 February 2015, Ruth relocated the leucistic bird again in the same site (photo 2), and commented that “the plumage is much whiter now”.

This is a quasi-experiment as the bird was photographed before and after the moult, commapre the photos.

On the other hand, the partially leucistic Common Coot (Fulica atra) is always present at Sidi Moussa lagoon where it was first observed and photographed in October and November 2014.

Oiseaux leucistique: Courlis corlieu et Foulque macroule

Un Courlis corlieu leucistique photographié par Ruth García Gorria pour la première fois le 17 octobre 2014 dans la zone intertidale à la sortie d’El Jadida vers Sidi Bouzid (photo 1). Le 13 février 2015, Ruth a revu l’oiseau dans le même endroit (photo 2), et a commentée que “le plumage est beaucoup plus blanc maintenant”

D’autre part, la Foulque macroule partiellement leucistique est toujours présente à la lagune de Sidi Moussa où elle a été photographiée pour la première en octobre et novembre 2014.

Thanks Ruth for these observations!

Leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus - Courlis corlieu), El Jadida, 17 October 2014 (Ruth García Gorria).

Leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus – Courlis corlieu), El Jadida, 17 October 2014 (Ruth García Gorria).

Leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus - Courlis corlieu), El Jadida, 13 February 2015 (Ruth García Gorria).

Leucistic Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus – Courlis corlieu), El Jadida, 13 February 2015 (Ruth García Gorria).

2 thoughts on “Leucistic Whimbrel becomes much whiter after moult

  1. Wolf Meinken

    Hello,

    I saw a completely leucistic Whimbrel in January 2011 in the tidal flats between Skhirat and Temara. Stunning appearance. The same bird or coincidence? Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo.

    Regards,

    Wolf

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *