Is an Albino Kookaburra rare ?
Not sure how rare it really is. The internet can play tricks on the perception. I couldn’t find any other inflight shots, so atleast I feel like I got a first.. 🙂 Although it appears my find is not an Albino, but a Leucistic variety, as it does not have the pink eyes.
Here’s the story:
It was about midday, when I was just returning home. I was putting the bins away when I heard some birds fighting in the air. Now if you live in Australia this is not anything really surprising, but when I looked up I saw 3 kookaburras having a bit of an aerial argument. It seems like 2 of them were harassing the other. That’s when I noticed the other one was different. Absolutely no markings at all. Completely all white feathers. An Albino Kookaburra !
After the trio flew there separate ways I notice the Albino kookaburra flew over my house towards the backyard. I raced inside, grabbed my D700 and put the 300mm F/4 lens on with the 1.4x Teleconverter. I quietly made my way out to the backyard hoping the anomaly had stayed around long enough for me to get a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised to find him sitting up on a neighbors antenna. I snapped a few static shots with a few profile angles, before he took off. Luckily I was right on him, and was able to shoot a few continuous shots of him as he flew off. Plenty of practice paid off shooting bird of prey in Calgary. I was happy to get what I did, as I have not seen him since. He wasn’t exactly a plump specimen so lets hope he survives the constant tormenting from his peers.
Given the speed that all this happened, I had to think and move quickly. Camera setting needed to be automatic, so you can focus on the subject. For my given camera, lens and adapter I knew I could shoot wide open (F/5.6) and shot in aperture mode, with a +0.7 exposure for the predominantly white bird in a tough backlit lighting.