Unusual bird visits Greco's

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:41

Franklin — Stinky the partial albino robin has taken up residence at Greco Landscaping. The staff at Greco have been charmed by the little bird who’s become a welcome visitor. Russ Stewart, who works there, reports that Stinky flies around the North Church Road fields nearby and drops into the shop, too. Her name, Stewart says, was given affectionately, and is shared as a “pet” name by humans and animals alike at Greco. An intriguing bird When she first dropped in, the folks at Greco were unsure what kind of bird Stinky was. “We couldn’t figure out what it was right away and we were trying to get close enough ... and then one day she was hopping around on the ground digging for worms ...” Those are the familiar activities of the area’s well-known harbinger of spring and so that’s when they felt certain: She was a robin. And, after he’d done some research, Stewart, an avid birder, figured that Stinky is one of the somewhat rare partial albino robins. One in about 30,000 are albino, Stewart learned. True albinos die young, he said, because without pigment in their eyes, they quickly become blind and die. One look at the photos Stewart supplied of Stinky, and the pale red breast is visible. It’s clear, too, when looking at her beside a regular-hued robin, that she fits the bill. Stewart said he believes Stinky is a female because she’s smaller than others. See more photos of Stinky at www.grecolandscaping.com. Click on the little picture of the bird. A little history Russ Stewart researched albino robins. “I dug up a 1903 New York Times article where one was sighted in Chatham, N.J., and one in 1946.” Another name for albinism is pie-bald, Stewart says, which is often seen in deer.