I just love this seabird and every year I get excited to see it and this year is no different. We have only seen it a few times this year but its nice to see it again and this is the 6th year we have been spotting it. I do hope we see it for another 6 years and hopefully a lot more too.

For us, it’s just something a little bit different and its really nice to show people the difference in colour between a normal Guillemot and a leucistic. Lots of people are really interested and can’t believe how we spotted it in the first place, especially among thousands of Guillemots and I suppose we were just lucky really.

Leucism is inherited but the extent of the condition can vary between adults and their offspring and it can also skip generations if the leucistic genes are recessive.

Leucistic birds will have weakened feathers, which are more susceptible to wear and tear, and, as a result, they may have difficulty flying, but in this case, i don’t think this is a problem at all as I’ve seen it fly and it looks mighty fine to me. If they have very large patches of leucism, they are going to be more conspicuous and vulnerable to predators, and again I can’t see this in our seabird as it seems to be fine beside the other Guillemots. I’m not sure what happens during the winter when they are away from the Farnes and I think this is one of the reasons we are happy to see it every year on its return. In some cases, a leucistic bird may not be recognized by a potential mate and may never breed. I have never seen it with an egg so I guess this one will never breed, but the Farnes always surprises me, so you can never say never.

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