Great spotted woodpecker with unusual colouring in Cheshire02/01/2010 06:54:02
Greater spotted woodppecker with yellow vents.
This bird with unusual colouring was photographed by Sheila Bamire in Cheshire, England, in December 2009.
Sheila says "I took this photo of a female 'yellow-vented' Great Spotted Woodpecker in the back garden on 7 Dec 2009 - it hung around for a few days feeding on the peanut feeders. Two 'normal' female Great Spotted woodpeckers were in the garden at the same time. The 'normal' woodpeckers were antagonistic to each other, but left the yellow-vented bird alone.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers breed locally and produced at least 2 female young. The 'normal' birds are probably related to each other.
Wildlife Extra reported a similar bird in Yorkshire 2 years ago, (Click here), and there was some debate about what caused the unusual colouring.
Mike Toms, of the British trust for Ornithology, has pointed out that a similar bird was documented in Cambridgeshire in 2006. The BTO believe that the bird was exhibiting xanthochroism.
Click here to see our gallery of albino and leucistic animals and birds.