The Blue Ridge Leader recently received this message and photo from Loudoun resident Tom McMahon: “Dear Editor, I was driving home to Round Hill on Business Route 7 from Purcellville last night (Tuesday, Jan. 17) when I spotted a very unusual site – an albino deer in a group of other deer – and was able to get a few photos!”
Thank you, Tom!
A bit of whitetail deer/wildlife science …
“Albino” refers to a total lack of body pigment – an all-white appearance that can occur in many mammals, including humans. The eyes are pink, and the eyesight, generally, poor. “Leucistic” creatures lack pigment over all or part of their bodies. Some appear all white and some partially white. But, things such as eyes, hoofs, etc. are not affected, as in an albino. A third term, “piebald” refers to a deer with normal brown eyes, nose and hoofs, along with color variations and other genetic abnormalities that alter the animal’s appearance – producing shortened legs, a bowed spine and/or a rounded nose, for example.