Birdwatchers are flocking to Alabama to see an uncommon yellow cardinal after photographs of the strange critter emerged on the Internet and social media.
The bird was discovered in Charlie Stephenson’s property in Alabaster, Alabama, in late January.
According to Geoffrey Hill, an Auburn University biology professor, the cardinal is an adult male of the same species as the typical red cardinal, but it has a genetic mutation that allows it to have bright yellow feathers instead of the customary vivid red.
Stephenson told AL.com that the bird has been a consistent visitor to her backyard feeder: “Every time we’ve checked for him, he’ll show up at least once a day.”
Professional photographer Jeremy Black captured a couple of images of the bird, which have made their way around news sites around the country.
According to Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab, red cardinals are distributed throughout central and eastern North America: “A year-round resident, the cardinal is a regular visitor to bird feeders in winter, and it has been designated as the state bird in seven U.S. states.”
Non-red cardinals are very rare: “Yellow cardinals are a one-in-a million situation,” Hill said.
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