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Rare Dalmatian Magpie Spotted And Photographed At Side Of Road

Dalmatian-patterned magpieSandy Goddard

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.

Dalmatian-patterned magpie spotted in AustraliaSandy Goddard

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.

He explained:

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.

Posted by Sandy Goddard Photography on Thursday, September 12, 2019

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.

She commented:

He was right out the front of a house and they probably see him everyday and dont even realise how special it is.

Posted by Sandy Goddard Photography on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Images of the bird were shared on Sandys photography page, where they gained a lot of interest.

She wrote:

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……

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