Report this comment
  • "A few years ago, there used to be a completely white Blackbird who's patch was the Station Road and Station Avenue area in the city centre. Used to see him a lot when I was changing bus services."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Snowy the starling is rare sight for York couple

This unusual starling has regularly appeared on the patio of one York couple

This unusual starling has regularly appeared on the patio of one York couple

First published in News
Last updated

You could have knocked Derek and Sandra Shewan down with a feather when a rare white bird swooped onto their patio.

At first they though the starling they christened Snowy was an albino but they then spotted it did not have pink eyes.

The couple, from Hemlock Avenue, Huntington, discovered the bird was a Leucistic starling, sightings of which are occasionally reported in national wildlife magazines.

Experts say Leucism is a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly.

This can result in unusual white patches appearing on the animal, or, more rarely, completely white creatures.

Retired Royal Mail sorting office worker Derek, 66, said: “From what I have read it is more rare than an albino.

“We have hundreds of starlings and blackbirds. We feed them currants and sultanas and they keep coming back.”

His wife Sandra, 56, took an immediate fancy to the new arrival who she named Snowy.

It is too early to say if the bird is a he or she because it is still sporting its juvenile plumage.

Derek added: “We spotted it eight to ten days ago and he is still coming back. It just dropped down onto the patio where all the currants were.

“We have a rich array of birds. We did have a spotted woodpecker three years ago. But this is the rarest I think.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree