Were used to seeing mixed dog breeds sport each others patterns but a Dalmation-like magpie spotted by a woman in Australia certainly offers a unique sight.
Sandy Goddard was travelling from work this week when she spotted the rare bird at the side of a busy road just outside Geelong, Victoria.
Spotting a magpie isnt that uncommon, however theyre usually characterised by large black and white patches and a long tail. As evident in the photos, this wasnt your average magpie.
According to ABC, Birdlife Australias Mick Roderick said the bird could be described as piebald; an animal which has a pattern of pigmented spots.
Roderick explained unusual pattern was caused by a rare condition called leucism, a genetic variation in the cells responsible for producing black pigment.
Birders would probably describe [it] as being piebald, but its plumage is explained by a condition called leucism. Its very uncommon.
This bird has a good mix of dark (normal) and leucistic feathers, which is what makes it look piebald.
When Sandy first spotted the bird, she thought it was a weird-looking rock until it started moving. The passerby, who enjoys bird photography, managed to capture some clear images of the magpie.
He was right out the front of a house and they probably see him everyday and dont even realise how special it is.
Images of the bird were shared on Sandys photography page, where they gained a lot of interest.
Very excited to find this pied leucistic magpie (I think, I mean I know its a magpie but hope Im right on the leucistic front) on the way home tonight.
How cool is he (or she). Not the best photos cause I was running late for an appointment and didnt have time to stop and take my normal 3/4 hr to stalk……