Some species are prone to producing
occasional individuals like this, known as "leuchistic" forms. Not
albinos as they do have pigment, but not as much as the more normal
members of the species. These penguins would always hang around the
breeding grounds with others of their species, though I never saw one
that had any success in breeding - incubating eggs, building a nest
etc. Maybe they were just a little too different for the other penguins.
I was looking through your penguin pics and
noticed your comment about leuchistic penguins not breeding. So I
thought you might be interested in the attached pic of a leuchistic
Adelie penguin with a chick. I took the pic in 1963 on Avian Island
(off Adelaide Island). Mike Fleet.
While I saw several leuchistic chinstraps on
Signy I don't recall having seen a leuchistic Adelie, maybe the
result of different gene pools. Paul Ward
Photo; © Paul Ward - Pentax equipment,
100mm lens, 35mm film, K64.
This picture may not be copied or
used in any manner without prior written permission.