These birds were of interest to me at our bird feeder. I was able to photograph them through the window screen.
When a sparrow showed up with brilliant white on its wings, I thought perhaps it was variety that I had never seen.
This grackle is a long story. The bump on its head grew progressively bigger for weeks and then became progressively smaller over a few weeks. It started out yellow, turned orange/red, and eventually eventually lightened and diminished leaving the bird with a "bald spot" where the bump had been.
I think that the grackle was in pretty good health when the grackles all seemed to move on. There was rather large flock around for many weeks. Is showed no signs of distress and definitely had a good appetite. We have a granite bird bath and the bird and its mate spent much time bathing in it.
Finally I decided to write to the Audubon Society and received a reply after they saw the photos. The grackle had suffered some sort of injury or parasite infection problem. The conservationist had never seen something like that before.
The sparrow is leucistic. There is a difference between leucistic animals and albino. If you "google" images, you will see an amazing variety of animals that appear albino and aren't. It is a lack of pigmentation and not at all dangerous.
My thanks to the CT Audubon society for their help. I learn something new every day. This summer we had a lot of birds at the feeders and but these two were definitely standouts.
The grackles and brown headed cowbirds eventually moved on, most likely to winter roosts. The sweet little sparrow still visits the feeder many times a day. (Unfortunately, leucistic birds are often targets for predators.)
Weekend is here. Looks to be a delightful one here in New England. What are your plans?
Happy weekend, as and always,
enjoy the day!