By Michael Scott

A rare white hummingbird has been frozen in time in these breathtaking pictures.

The beautiful bird has Leucism – a condition caused by a recessive gene.

In birds it can range from a few feathers being pale to the entire bird being completely white.

This rare sight was caught on camera by Douglas Croft, from San Jose, California.

He photographed the bird in the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, and said fellow photographers had travelled from miles around to see the Anna’s hummingbird.

Douglas said: “I live fairly close to the area but I spoke to a gentleman who had come from Texas specifically to see this bird and another from Japan who had been on his way to New York, but altered his travel plans with a stop in San Francisco so he could try to see it.

“Others had driven in from the Los Angeles area and all over the state. This little bird was quite a celebrity.

“It is quite rare to see the almost completely white versions.

“I spoke to an ornithologist who had been studying birds and leading birding groups around the world for 30 years and he’d never seen anything like it.

“He was quite excited to see this little one!

“I had been at the arboretum looking for him for a couple of hours and was just about to pack things up and try another day when a woman and her daughter approached me to ask if I’d seen the little white one.

“I was explaining that I had not so far.  All of a sudden, a little white missile came zipping around the flowers and stopped five feet from us so I started firing away with my camera.

“It was really quite exciting. Most people will never see something like this in their lifetime, so yes, it was an honour indeed.”