Lisa MartinDecember 6, 2010
One of the albino blue-winged baby kookaburras. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital
What's believed to be the world's first albino blue-winged kookaburras are feathering a new nest in Queensland's far north.
Staff at a wildlife sanctuary south of Cairns are caring for what they have called "a miracle sent from heaven" after the two six-week old siblings were blown from their nest during a storm.
"We didn't know that they existed. No one I have spoken to has ever heard of, or seen, albino blue wing kookaburras before," Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz said today.
'From heaven' ... an albino blue-winged kookaburra. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital
"Somebody found them and thought 'They're babies, that's why they're not coloured yet.' But no, they're actually albino.
"They are a miracle, sent from heaven ... a world-first."
Mr Kunz said it was extraordinarily lucky the babies were found, in the Tablelands forest, before predators got them.
Albino animals are all white
Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz with the albino kookaburras discovered in north Queensland. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital
"They would never make it in the wild, they have just come out of the nest; snakes or other birds and kookaburras would have killed them because they have no camouflage.
"We can never release them, they would be dead within a week."
Albinism is a congenital disorder caused by a lack of melanin pigment in humans and animals.
Mr Kunz said the birds were being fed mice and chicken by hand and would be taught to hunt their own food at the wildlife sanctuary.
He plans to hold a competition to name the birds, which people could enter by making a donation to the wildlife hospital.