[Tweeters] how to describe this parrot's plumage colouring?

Devorah the Ornithologist birdologist at gmail.com
Tue Jan 12 04:06:54 PST 2021

hello everyone,

i've been staring at this wild rainbow lory (photo attached), which some
people are describing as "leucistic". google images link:


except ... i don't think it is leucistic because the definition of leucism
is the reduction in one or more melanin-based pigments being deposited into
the feathers. considering this parrot appears to have normal amounts of
yellow pigments, but a lack in blue feather structure that would normally
create its green colouring, i think it is not leucistic at all. (green
colours in parrots are created by a mixture of yellow pigments and blue
structural colours.) however, the only word i can think of to describe this
condition is "pied" or "piebald", which i don't think is particularly
precise. does anyone else know what this feather colouration/condition is


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