Rare White Hummingbirds Dazzle Bird-watchers

Why do white hummingbirds have unusual plumage? Discover white hummingbird feather causes and albino hummingbird rarity.

White hummingbirds have white feathers. Why? I love seeing hummingbirds of any hue. Their velocity and speed through flowers delight birds, sparkling like gemstones in the bright sunlight. However, seeing a white hummingbird is unforgettable.

White hummingbirds aren't a species, although their condition can make them leucistic or albino. Complex reasons explain the bird's distinctive pigmentation.

Dr. Kevin McGowan of Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy explains biology in human terms: "I like to compare it to starting your car," he explains.  

He adds scientists believe a white hummingbird's snowy feathers are due to heredity, development, or food. Finally, scientists are often stumped.  

Kevin explains, “You look at a white hummingbird, and it can be hard to tell exactly why.” We know it involves pigment formation and deposition in the body.”

How Rare Are Albino Hummingbirds? Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “Every year there are a few reports of partly or mostly white hummingbirds. Leucistic birds lack most feather melanin and pigments.

But the bird in your shot has true albino hummingbird traits like white feathers, pink bill and foot, and pink eyes. True albino hummingbirds are rare. What a treat to have this stunning white hummingbird at your feeders.”