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A successfully breeding, partially leucistic American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Nina M. Zitani, Leanne A. Grieves, R. Greg Thorn


American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is the most abundant and broadly distributed thrush in North America. Both sexes likely engage in mate choice, and there is some evidence of assortative mating based on breast colour in this species. Over two breeding seasons, we documented a case of partial leucism, primarily of the breast feathers, in a male American Robin in London, Ontario, Canada. We report evidence that the leucistic robin was capable of successful breeding. How the fitness of leucistic versus normal robins compares and how leucism influences mate choice in this and other species remain to be explored.


Ornithology; colouration; leucism; sexual selection; fitness; breeding; American Robin; Turdus migratorius

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