06 February 2012

"Washed-out" penguin spotted in Antarctica

ANTARCTICA - Question: What's grey and white and has its photo all over the internet? Answer: A leucistic chinstrap penguin on the Aitcho Islands. The pigment-challenged bird was spotted by naturalist David Stephens and others aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

Mr Stephens posted a photo of the penguin and wrote on the daily expedition report: "This bird was whitish, but not quite an albino. Instead, it had pigmented eyes and a washed-out version of a Chinstrap’s normal pattern. Many wondered about this unusual bird’s chances of success. While odd coloration may make fishing a bit more difficult, leucistic birds are regularly found breeding normally."

Daily Expedition Report from the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica, 9 January 2012

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