Saturday, 26 May 2012

'Wacky' the albino blackbird is one of a kind

A RARE white bird has had animal carers at Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre all in a flutter.

The pure albino blackbird with red eyes is so rare it could be the only one of its kind in England.

Known as “Wacky” by the staff, the two-week-old bird found alone and unable to fly by a hedge in Down Ampney, is barely recognisable as a common blackbird.

The fledgling even stumped some of the animal carers at the Somerford Keynes rescue centre when it was brought in yesterday.

And it was only because of Oak and Furrows founder Serena Stevens’ extensive knowledge of birds after 25 years in the business that she could identify its breed.

“I’ve only seen a photo in a book once before,” she said. “The chances of us having one is so rare I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to see one again in my lifetime.

Serena, 48, said the reason that albino blackbirds were so unique was because they often do not live longer than a year.

Oak and Furrows founder Serena Stevens compares the albino fledgling with a regular baby blackbird

“They are not camouflaged and don’t really breed because they are rejected by other birds,” she said.

The Wildlife rescue centre takes in up to 3,000 animals a year, so animal carer Torie Cole, 26, said it was quite a coup to get something that they had not seen before.

“To see something that is as rare as this is just mind blowing,” she said.

Oak and Furrows will care for the flegling along with two regular baby blackbirds for a few more months and then hope to release it into the wild.

To find out more information about the wildlife charity and to donate, visit, call 01285 862439 or email

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