‘One in a million’ yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama

An extremely rare bird today has confounded biologists and bird lovers from Alabama. And all this after the images of the Yellow Cardinal became viral on social media.

It seems that a unique bird decided to pay a visit to a woman in Alabama. She captured it on camera after the birds visited her repeatedly. Charlie Stevenson of Alabaster first spotted an unusual bird in January at her backyard feeder. «I thought, «There’s a bird I’ve never seen before,» said Stevenson. «Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal».

Geoffrey Hill, a biology professor at Auburn University, said that the cardinal in the photographs is an adult male. He said that this unusual color is due to a genetic disorder. Cardinals are usually red, but because of their condition, what should have been red feathers instead became bright yellow.

“Every time I watch the bird feeder, I can see him,” Stephenson said. “The cardinals in my back yard typically come in the morning and again in the evening and I can only bird-watch on weekends until the time changes, but on weekends, I’ll sit there and watch for him. Every time we’ve looked for him, he’ll show up at least once that day.”

Professor Hill says, as a curator and bird researcher, he’s never seen a single yellow cardinal in person!

“I’ve been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I’ve never seen a yellow bird in the wild,” Hill said. “I would estimate that in any given year there are two or three yellow cardinals at backyard feeding stations somewhere in the U.S. or Canada. There are probably a million bird feeding stations in that area so very very roughly, yellow cardinals are a one in a million mutation.”

“Songbirds like cardinals almost never consume red pigments; rather they consume abundant yellow pigments. So, to be red, cardinals have to biochemically convert yellow pigments to red,” the professor explained.

Watch this unique bird below!

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