[Tweeters] Brown Crow?

Diane W diane_weinstein at msn.com
Tue Aug 9 09:55:16 PDT 2016

In my area there have been several generations of extremely pale mallards. Is this the same type of thing as the brown crow?

This year there was a pale female mallard with two pale ducklings that hung out in my yard and out at the pond. Of the two ducklings, now fully grown, one is a male and the other is a female.

Diane Weinstein
From: Devorah the Ornithologist
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:08 AM
To: Terry Sargent Peart
Cc: Tweeters
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Brown Crow?

hi terry,

it sounds like this crow has a genetic mutation that has knocked out one of its melanin producing enzymes, which probably prevents it from producing eumelanin. in captive-bred songbirds, this usually is a sex-linked mutation known as "fawn" or "isabella". there are two mutations that can be visually recognised. one gives the black regions on the bird a red-brown colour whilst the other gives the black regions a (paler and less red) beige-brown colour.

hope this helps.

On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 2:47 AM, Terry Sargent Peart <terry.peart at outlook.com> wrote:

I work in Maple Valley at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. Yesterday, I saw a Brown Crow... I was stunned. I had my good bins with me and got a good look at it. It was with a few other crows (black) so I was able to compare it with them. It was the same size, same beak, acted the same (they were on the asphalt parking lot picking at probably maggots that fall out of our garbage trailers). The color was even over the whole bird for the most part, even the beak. I would compare the brown with that of a cowbird.

I've never heard of a brown crow, so what did I see?

Thanks for your help,

West Seattle

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