Rare "ghost" magpie spotted in Fort St. John

Local bird enthusiast Cara Moore has a lot of birds — more than she can count — feed at her house throughout the week. Lately, however, she's noticed one that stands out from the rest.

Included in the group of magpies that visit her bird feeders is a rare ghost magpie, named as such because of its light-grey and white feathers, instead of the black and blue of most magpies.

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Moore, who runs a small bird rescue from her house, said most species of birds can have an albino appearance. The rare colouring is the result of leucism, a genetic mutation resulting in a loss of pigmentation in a bird’s feathers.

“I was surprised to spot it. I was very happy to see it,” said Moore. "It’s not something you see every day and it’s always cool to see something different."

A ghost magpie was spotted and reported in Edmonton in 2016.

Moore said those interested in spotting the bird may find it around Tot Lot Park near 76 Street and 91 Avenue.  

Email reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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