- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
The melanistic titmouse
The two birds I have photographed here are both tufted titmouses. The one with the copper-colored patch on its side beneath its wing presents the normal coloration of this bird species. The other tufted titmouse displays a form of restricted melanism where the copper-colored patch should be.
Melanism in its most advanced form can affect all of an inflicted birds color causing darker plumage throughout. In the case shown here, the melanism is localized to the area where its feathers would be copper.
Melanism could be described in the visual sense as being the opposite of albinism wherein white becomes the dominant abnormal color of a bird or animal. To help in identifying a possible melanistic bird it should be noted that its bill, feet and eye color will not be changed. Melanism does not seem to have any adverse consequences upon the health of those exact birds.