Have You Seen An Albino Turkey in the Wild? One Spotted in Michigan
I have hunted for a long time but have never seen an albino turkey in the wild before. But a friend of mine saw an albino hen the other day and sent me a great photo.
What is An Albino Animal?
For those who are unfamiliar with albino animals, one of the most common (and still rare) is an albino whitetail deer. Every couple of years in Michigan, someone spots one and grabs a photo like the one above. Back in 2021, an albino was spotted by several people in the community of Marquette.
In 2022, an albino squirrel was spotted in Macomb County, but what causes animals to become albino?
Albinism happens when cells are not able to produce melanin, which is the pigment that colors skin, hair, scales, and eyes. This is something that is passed down genetically when both parents contain the recessive gene and when they mate, there is the possibility the offspring may become albino.
What Can Be Born Albino?
Any animal and human can become albino if its parents have the recessive gene. So all mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians can be born albino.
A black bear was caught on a trail camera last year in the Upper Peninsula. These are not called albinos but become white the same way other mammals do with recessive genes. There are so many in British Columbia that they call them Kermode bears and tribes have referred to them as spirit bears for centuries.
An Albino Hen Turkey Spotted in a Michigan National Forest
My best friend Curt and his wife Debbie live on the west side of the Upper Peninsula, not too far from Wisconsin. Earlier this week, the two were in one of the national forest areas of that part of the state when they saw this albino hen turkey and snapped the photo above. This was a first for them and for me. I'm sure this bird can hide pretty well in winter, but as you can see, she really sticks out in the warmer months. Still pretty cool.