Albinism is a remarkably rare colour deficiency among natural populations of bird species. Here we document the first record of true albinism in a wild population of Collared Flycatchers Ficedula albicollis. We found a nest of two albino and three melanised nestlings, and the former became progressively underdeveloped and perished by the end of the nestling feeding period. It is possible that parents differentiated between chick types when provisioning the brood or that the albinos were of lower competitive ability; these could be additional reasons for the rare occurrence of this phenotype in the wild.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3