Doing all white – Rare penguin’s colour makes it stand out from the crowd
The extremely rare adelie penguin sticks right out in the middle of a crowd.
The bird has an extreme form of leucistic pigmentation, meaning its feathers are missing the black pigmentation penguins are normally associated with.
But it has not been turned into an outcast for looking different, instead happily getting right into the middle of the group.
The penguin has some fame among researchers at the Davis Station in Eastern Antarctica. Numerous people have reported spying the bird, which comes to breed every October and November.
The rare sight was captured by retired Australian meteorologist Barend Becker from Hobart, Tasmania, who was completing a 13-month stint in Antarctica.
The 62-year-old said: “I had heard about this penguin from other expeditioners who had seen it during the previous week.
“As it was the last day before the ice breaker Aurora Australis arrived and it was my last and only opportunity to travel out to Gardiner Island to see this rare penguin.
“This particular penguin returns to the same breeding site every year and has been noted by previous expeditions.
“I didn’t seem to have a partner, but we did notice that it was located inside the colony and not on the outside which is better for its long-term survival.
“It is extremely rare. This particular adelie penguin has an extreme form of leucistic pigmentation. It is different from albinism in that the beak and eyes have normal pigmentation.”