Last weekend in Nebraska, the Rowe Sanctuary got a call about a possible Whooping Crane sighting. We went out to check it out, and it turned out to actually be a partial albino Sandhill Crane. True albinos are pure white with no skin or eye pigment. This bird was almost all white, with the red skin on the top of the head and dark bill and legs. The photo here is of a similar, or possibly even the same bird, seen in Arizona a year ago.
While it is always great to see a Whooping Crane (there are just over 200 of them left in the wild), an albino Sandhill Crane is actually a much rarer sight, there are probably only one or two in the wild. Some people consider white birds to be good omens. Whether he brings good luck or not, this is one cool bird and I'm glad I got to see him.