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Albino avian

Early signs of spring in Wyoming include increasing birdsong and an opportunity to observe migrating species.

A Cassin's finch exhibiting albinism in Casper. (Zach Hutchinson/Flocking Around)

It’s not unusual to spot a Cassin’s finch, which spends most of its time high in the mountains, flitting in Wyoming’s lowlands this time of year. But it’s a special treat to spot an albino version.

Casper birder Zach Hutchinson discovered a pair of the species — both adult males — in his backyard recently and was delighted at the opportunity to observe the contrasting plumage.

“Seeing this species exhibiting albinism is a special sight,” Hutchinson told WyoFile via email. “This is not terribly common in wildlife, as often these animals have associated health issues or are at greater risk from predators and weather conditions.”

A Cassin’s finch spotted in Casper in spring 2024. (Zach Hutchinson/Flocking Around)

To avoid flushing the birds, Hutchinson remained indoors and shot these images through a pane of glass. The encounter was brief but helped fuel his anticipation for spotting migratory birds on the move this spring. The “early singers are in full bloom,” Hutchinson said. “It’s my favorite time of year.”

This article was originally published by WyoFile and is republished here with permission. WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places and policy.