A birdwatcher in Gallatin, Tennessee was taken by surprise, after a very unusual bird visited his backyard. Scott Davis, a 67-year-old retiree, witnessed and extremely rare sight of a white cardinal.
Even fond of birdwatching almost his entire life, this was the first time Davis encountered such a stunning sight. The bird – nearly all white, with only its tail and wings light red, has landed straight in Scott’s backyard. Just as he does every winter, Scott put some some seeds on the snow that covered his garden. However, he never expected to catch such a glimpse.
“It’s actually the prettiest bird I think I’ve ever seen,” Scott said. “It’s an unnatural color. Maybe that’s what makes it so pretty. It’s just so odd and rare.”
Cardinals are usually bright red, but in this particularly situation the white plumage is due to a rare condition called leucism, which leads to a lack of pigmentation. Unlike albinism, this cardinal still had dark pigmentation in his eyes, yet not on its features.
“Some of them maybe just have one little spot and some of them have even more white on them than the one I photographed,” Scott said. “Cardinals like sunflower seeds, so I threw a bunch out there on the snow and ice. That’s when he came. He was probably out there between 10 and 15 minutes each time.”
Even if it was a very short visit, it was enough for Scott to grab some adorable snaps and a footage of the rare white cardinal. According to the birdwatcher, once the bird flew away, it never returned. But who knows, it’s never too late for such an incredible visit.
You can watch the rare white cardinal, here: