Is This White Bird an Albino Crow?

This white-feathered crow stands out from the other birds in its flock. Learn how to tell if it's a rare albino bird.

Yes, this American crow has all white feathers and pink feet, legs and bill. These are all features of albino birds. However, a full albino bird should have red or pink eyes, while this bird’s eyes appear to be black. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology explains: “Albinism is a genetic mutation that prevents the production of melanin in the body. Albinistic birds have pink eyes because without melanin in the body, the only color in the eyes comes from the blood vessels behind the eyes.”

This white crow appears to be leucistic, otherwise known as partial albinism. Here’s how to tell the difference between albino and leucistic birds.

I watched this bird as it fed, the perched for a while, then later as it flew off into the field above to feed some more. All this time the white crow stayed in the company of normal crows. Though it fed alongside the others, they did seem to avoid it and would move away when it came near. The other birds seemed aware that this white crow was different from them.

Have you ever seen an albino or leucistic bird? You can see that the white crow really stands out both on the ground and as it flies with the other crows. That makes it vulnerable to predators. However, since crows are large birds, this one is likely not as vulnerable as smaller albino and leucistic birds, like this leucistic Anna’s hummingbird.

SeEtta Moss
SeEtta Moss is an avid birder, bird photographer and conservationist in Colorado.