Tag Archives: patches

Golden-backed snipe fly

This golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus) landed in one of my bird baths and drifted around for a few minutes on the surface tension. I’m not positive, but I think I’ve seen them do this in past years, too. I wonder whether they are looking for mosquito larvae, or perhaps adults. These flies have predaceous mouthparts, so they clearly hunt something. Sure wish somebody would PCR the gut contents of these things and let me know. Anyone ever seen them take something down?

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus)

Here’s another one, albeit one with a damaged eye:

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Golden-backed snipe fly (Chrysopilus thoracicus) with dented eye

Masked robin

Mutant robin (Turdus migratorius) with mask of white plumage. I suspect the leucism¬† was congenital because the patches were located on several parts of the body (injury and parasites can sometimes cause regrowth to be white).¬† Regardless of cause, it’s a good look. Spotted on the campus of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Colin Purrington Photography: Birds &emdash; Leucistic American robin
Robins seem to be famous for leucism (Gross 1965), as a Google image search will confirm.¬† If you’d like to see some even stranger birds, check out this page from Cornell University.