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Blanquita was one of a kind, but she was really unlucky

A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment brings to our attention the first reported case of incomplete albinism in the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). Let’s meet Blanquita.

After seeing the super power of owls, this time we are in the protected area of Mount El Valle and Sierras de Altaona and Escalonain southeastern Spain, where a female eagle owl lives It is believed he was about 40 days oldwas spotted in a nest during a routine visit.

The team named the specimen Blanquita, and it was the only one unusually colorful in the brood of four chicks.

In particular, the coloration in question is usually known as “incomplete albinism“, because although its feathers are white, as you can see in the following link, He has bright orange eyes. So albinism is the lack of pigment melanin which often causes white feathers or fur.

Albinism is incomplete in that case because Blanquita he had real melanin in his eyes (iris), but also a light black shade in the wing feathers“, José Zamora-Marín, co-author of the paper, told IFLScience. However, not everything went smoothly.

Unfortunately only 10 weeks after Blanquita she was found dead about 20 kilometers west of the nest. His death was probably due to the ingestion of poisoned rodents, which in turn they made her more vulnerable to predators. The team wrote that they found “signs of mammalian predation” in the area.

We think that Blanquita it may have hunted rats or other rodents affected by the recent consumption of rodenticides, causing sublethal effects (reduction of basal activity) due to secondary exposure and making it vulnerable to predation by a canid (red fox or dog). In turn, the remains of the wings and body that we found were visible signs of consumption or predation give some of the dog god“, continued Zamora-Marin.

After discovering what bumblebees are capable of, despite her short and unhappy life, Blanquita begins will be remembered forever in books all over the world!