Australia: Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary 'one in a million', keepers say - - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaAlbino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary 'one in a million', keepers say

06:10  24 may  2019
06:10  24 may  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Rare Albino Magpie in Australian Wildlife Sanctuary is ' One in a Million '. News18 02 Jun 2019. A genuine albino magpie is making its home at a Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary , and keepers say the bird is an "absolute character" which "prefers to be handfed despite being able to feed himself" .

A genuine albino magpie is making its home at a Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary , and keepers say the bird is an absolute character which prefers to be handfed despite being able to feed himself.

Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary 'one in a million', keepers say© Twitter: Brenda Aksionov An all-white, genuine albino magpie was turned into Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania. A "one-in-a-million" albino magpie has been found living in Tasmania's north.

Instead of making its home in a suburban backyard, the unnamed bird lives alongside a yellow-tailed black cockatoo in the Trowunna Wildlife Park.

Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary 'one in a million', keepers say
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The young male was handed in as a fledgling bird late last year and has been unable to be released into the wild.

"It was found at the base of a tree with no possibility of getting back to the nest," operations manager Darren Rumble.

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@BrendaAksionov/Twitter/ Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary . The first ever albino magpie has been discovered in Tasmania , but due to its unique He is a genuine albino and the statistics around a genuine albino magpie are around one in a million . You do see other forms of colour dysmorphia

Honestly fuck magpies . On one particular morning a couple years ago I was riding my bike around the area. As usual I was minding my business when a red-eyed magpie swoops me . 12 year old me started freaking out as this thing attacks me . After successfully losing the devil incarnate I started to relax

"As soon as we had the bird brought in, we knew we'd be taking care of him for his whole life — if we let him go, he won't last more than a day."

Due to the albino magpie's white pigmentation, Mr Rumble said it was susceptible to a high rate of predation.

"He'd be a prime target for crows or any other bird of prey," he said.

"He is a genuine albino and the statistics around a genuine albino magpie are around one in a million.

"You do see other forms of colour dysmorphia called leucism but that's a dilution of the dark pigment which can go into a creamy colour of the feathers, but the bird will still have normal coloured legs, beak and eyes.

"He's got the total absence of the pigment."

Magpie prefers to be handfed, 'talks to anyone'

Mr Rumble described the bird as "an absolute character".

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Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary ' one in a million ', keepers say By Charley Rico Updated Fri 24 May 2019, 2:09 PM AEST Photo An all-white, genuine albino magpie was turned into Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania .

Albino magpie in Tasmanian wildlife sanctuary ' one in a million ', keepers say By Charley Rico Updated Fri 24 May 2019, 2:09 PM AEST Photo An all-white, genuine albino magpie was turned into Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania .

"He talks to anyone who comes near him, he's a real unique individual," he said.

According to Mr Rumble, the magpie prefers to be handfed despite being able to feed himself.

As for what he eats?

"It's a mix of stuff … like baby mice and diced meat," Mr Rumble said.

Rare, or more common than we know?

BirdLife Tasmania Convenor Dr Eric Woehler said it was impossible to say how rare a genuine albino magpie really was.

"We don't really have a real sense of the degree albinism in the bird population generally," Dr Woehler said.

"We know it happens because we're getting more and more reports of these types of cases.

"It's more down to people being more aware of their surroundings and being able to communicate something unusual immediately."

Dr Woehler said 20 years ago a bird like this would have been hearsay, as mobile phones didn't have the same photographic capabilities as they do now.

"Because we don't have sense of the degree of albinos in the population, we've got no real sense that the rate is increasing," he said.

"We know it's a widespread phenomenon in the environment."

According to Dr Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania received two to three records a year of unusual plumage.

However, there was no reason to think one species was more prone to mutation in plumage than any other species.

"It's an interesting record, it's worth documenting," Dr Woehler said.

"We've had black cockatoos that are yellow … we'll add it to our list of unusual birds in Tasmania."

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