SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Improving weather conditions have more people and wildlife venturing outside. In one east-side Sioux Falls neighborhood, a robin and his mate are creating quite the stir because this isn’t your typical robin.
“Male robins get kind feisty when they are setting up their nests,” said Denis Wylie as he watches the bird that has made his yard its home.
Wylie noticed this handsome creature in his backyard a little over two weeks ago.
Since then, it appears they’ve developed a relationship.
“He wants to make sure we’re still okay, that we’re coming over here,” Wylie said as he approached the bird.
Onlookers have been flocking to the east side Sioux Falls neighborhood to get a glimpse of the rare robin. Much of his wing area is white and even his chest has blotches of white.
Wildlife expert Josh Delger says it a genetic condition called Leucism.
“Yeah it’s definitely rare and people who are out seeing wildlife don’t see it very often at all, and so definitely a very rare thing, being an actual pure albino would be even rarer, but nothing you see very common at all,” said Delger.
The robin almost looks like a mini eagle at times. At one point he seems to be telling photographer Kevin Kjergaard, “Yea I see you, I know you are there, but excuse me, I’ve got some worms to catch.”
According to Wylie, the robin tolerates other birds, unless they get too close to his mate.
“Kinda chasing other robins away and staking out his territory and using our yard for a hunting ground,” said Wylie.
The robin doesn’t seem too concerned with Wylie, even when walking the dog or taking care of the lawn.
“He lets us live here,” Wylie joked. “And we can get up fairly close to him of course we don’t annoy him when we are out here either.”
Wylie says he hasn’t given the robin a nickname yet. He plans to let his grandkids do that this weekend.