A super-rare white blackbird has been spotted at Waitrose in Dorset, with experts warning that its appearance makes it stand out to predators.
David Boag – an author of 18 books – was looking for blackbirds on January 20 when he stumbled upon the rare creature in the supermarket’s car park in Wimborne Minster, Dorset.
White blackbirds often live short lives because the white skin makes them susceptible to being killed by predators.
The photographed bird has a rare condition called leucism meaning it has a genetic mutation which prevents colour from being deposited on its feathers.
It is not the first time a bird like this has been spotted in the UK and experts say they are becoming more common.
After spotting the white featured bird, David said: ‘Blackbirds often have odd white feathers or patches of white, but a pure white bird is very rare.’
AN RSPB spokeswoman, Becca Smith, said: ‘Leucism is interesting because it can either affect a bird’s plumage either partially or completely as the case seems to be here.
‘Leucistic birds are certainly a good spot and do appear to be showing up on our doorsteps more often in recent years, which could be all the more reason for the public to look out for them during their Big Garden Birdwatch this coming weekend.’
It comes after last month a dog walker was left bamboozled this festive season after he captured footage of a rare Albino Pheasant strolling around a British garden.
The bird was brazenly looking round the woodland area while Brian Cave was taking his dog for a walk in Newquay, Cornwall.
Video footage captured by the 52-year-old shows the unusual bird strolling around on Christmas Day.
The bird was identified as an Albino Pheasant, which are a rare species, with female pheasants usually being pale brown with dark mottling.
Male pheasants are much larger and usually have a dark green head and neck with a chestnut body.
The British Trust for Ornithology have now said the sighting was extremely rare, but that sadly, many Albino birds don’t make it to adulthood.
It is thought that they are a prime target for hunters due to their colour, but the registered charity said most ‘die soon after fledging, primarily as a consequence of their poor eyesight, and albino birds are not thought to progress to adulthood in the wild’.