The genetic freak with a beak

By Kristin Edge -

An unusual white-coloured kingfisher is on the mend after headbutting the window of a Whangarei home by mistake.

Kingfisher birds are normally small to medium-sized and brightly coloured.

NorthPower native bird recovery chairman Robert Webb said a mature white-coloured kingfisher was a rare sight and he had never seen one before even though the centre got about 20 a year to care for before releasing again.

NorthPower native bird recovery chairman Robert Webb with a rare white-coloured Kingfisher. Photo / Northern Advocate / Michael Cunningham
NorthPower native bird recovery chairman Robert Webb with a rare white-coloured Kingfisher. Photo / Northern Advocate / Michael Cunningham

He said the new arrival had hit a glass window at an Onerahi home earlier this week and was left dazed and confused.

"We will nurse him back to care and we are satisfied he can fly again. We will take him back out to Onerahi and release him."

NorthPower native bird recovery chairman Robert Webb with a normal-coloured baby Kingfisher and a rare white-coloured Kingfisher. Photo / Michael Cunningham
NorthPower native bird recovery chairman Robert Webb with a normal-coloured baby Kingfisher and a rare white-coloured Kingfisher. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Mr Webb was unable to explain why there was a lack of colour as kingfishers in New Zealand were a mix of blue, black, white and tan feathers.

"I've never seen a white one before. We've had a kookaburra before but this is very different."

A standard-coloured baby kingfisher that was pushed out of a nest too soon has been the perfect mate for the white bird.

It was about four-and-a-half weeks old and just learning how to fly. It will be released at Whangarei Heads when it is able to survive on its own.

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