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15 Photos of White Cardinals and Leucistic Birds

You'll be amazed at these photos of white cardinals and other lovely leucistic birds, including partially albino hummingbirds, finches and more!

white cardinalCourtesy Terry Spencer

White Cardinal in the Snow

“This beautiful white cardinal started visiting my backyard feeders in early winter. I set up a groundblind and waited seven hours to get this shot. What a rare privilege!” says Terry Spencer. Learn the difference between albino and leucistic birds.

white cardinal Barbwood Bbdj20Courtesy Barb Wood

White-Headed Cardinal

“On an extremely cold day in Wisconsin, several cardinals and other birds visited my feeders. I always dream of seeing special birds with unique features, and that day I did. I wasn’t sure about the proper name for this leucistic bird, so at the time I called it ‘white head.’ It’s such a beauty!” says Barb Wood. Check out fantastic photos of rare yellow cardinals.

leucistic cardinalCourtesy Diane Atterson

Red and White Cardinal

Diane Atterson captured this photo of a white cardinal at the Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Check out 6 proven ways to attract cardinals.

white cardinalCourtesy Kathy Hoyt

Leucistic Cardinal

“This is the first white cardinal my husband and I had ever seen. It has actually become a regular visitor and usually shows up in late winter/early spring every year. We enjoy him while he’s here. In this photo, the cardinal is sitting in a dogwood tree outside our breakfast area in Tennessee,” says Kathy Hoyt. Did you know a rare half male, half female cardinal was spotted in Pennsylvania?

leucistic grosbeakCourtesy Patricia Costilow

Leucistic Grosbeak

“We live in Ashtabula, Ohio, and our son owns over 400 acres and a marsh behind our house. We see lots of birds and waterfowl. When I spotted this beautiful and unusual bird in one of our feeders, I thought someone’s pet bird had escaped. But my grandson who loves looking for bird species said it was a leucistic grosbeak. Nature never fails to amaze me,” says Patricia Costilow. Is this white bird an albino crow?

Bnbhc18 Elijah Gildea

Leucistic Hummingbird

Birders are amazed by rare leucistic and albino hummingbirds. “This leucistic Anna’s hummingbird is one of the most beautiful hummingbirds I have photographed. He was feeding on giant flowers at the Santa Cruz arboretum. This handsome guy is without pigmentation in his feathers, giving him the cool snowy look,” says Elijah Gildea.

leucistic blue jayCourtesy John Schatz

White Blue Jay

“A friend watched this beautiful bird eat from their bird feeder. She contacted me and gave me the honor of photographing this leucistic blue jay,” says John Schatz. Learn how to attract blue jays in your backyard.

Bnbugc Elaine MccabeCourtesy Elaine Mccabe

White Goldfinch

Elaine McCabe of Newport, New York, shared this photo of an American goldfinch that has normal carotenoid pigments (producing the bright yellow) but is lacking melanins. That’s why it looks as if someone took a normal goldfinch and then deleted all the black from its wings and tail. Check out 20 super pretty pictures of finches.

leucistic juncoCourtesy Anne Personius

Leucistic Junco

Not every white bird is albino. It’s more common for birds to have partial albinism. “We have been watching this leucistic dark-eyed junco and his mate at the feeders in our backyard for months. They raised two chicks in one of our birdhouses,” says Anne Personius.

leucistic robinCourtesy Martha Chavez

Leucistic American Robin

“I was absolutely enchanted when I saw an American robin with partial albinism last fall. Winter passed, and I wasn’t sure if I would see this special leucistic bird again. I was so happy when it reappeared in my yard once March arrived!” says Martha Chavez. We asked the experts: Do robins really migrate and return in the spring?

Leucistic redpoll birdCourtesy Benjamin Sunne

Leucistic Common Redpoll

“This leucistic bird showed up at my bird feeder last winter here in northern Minnesota. It appears to be a partly albino common redpoll. This bird was sitting in our crabapple tree when I took the picture,” says Benjamin Sunne. Don’t miss the 51 best winter bird photos.

leucistic purple finchCourtesy Ken Thommes

Leucistic Purple Finch

Ken Thommes shared this photo of a purple finch with leucistic plumage, lacking dark pigments from some of the feathers. The bird is shaped like a purple finch, with a thick bill, long wingtips and a notched tail tip. The normal dark brown color shows on the tail and many wing feathers, and it looks red and pink in many of the same areas where you’d see those colors on an adult male purple finch.

leucistic cormorantCourtesy Mary Hindle

Leucistic Cormorant

Mary Hindle captured this photo of a white double-crested cormorant that stands out in a crowd. You have to see these 50 stunning summer bird photos.

leucistic grosbeakCourtesy Debbie West

Leucistic Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Debbie West shared this photo of a rose-breasted grosbeak that’s partly leucistic—lacking the melanin pigment in some of its feathers, so that white replaces some of the usual color. Although it is normal for a male rose-breasted grosbeak to have white spots in the wings, it’s definitely not normal for one to show these random white patches all over the back and head, even when molting.

leucistic robinCourtesy Sue Moore

White Robin

“Once, in early spring, I let my dog out and saw a flash of white. Knowing there aren’t any birds in this area of Minnesota that are white, I decided to investigate. On closer inspection, it looked like a partially albino male robin. Instead of flying off, he stuck around for over a week, sitting in the treetops and singing his heart out. Quite an unusual sight!” says Sue Moore.

Next, check out 15 simply stunning photos of northern cardinals.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys growing vegetables in containers and raised beds and watching for birds in her backyard.

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