Very rare ‘one in a million’ yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama

An extremely rare bird have baffled the biologists and birders from Alabama, these days. All after images of a yellow cardinal went viral on social media.

It seems that the unique bird decided to pay a visit to a woman in Alabama. She captured it on camera after the birds repeatedly visits. Charlie Stephenson from Alabaster, first spotted the unusual bird in January, at her backyard feeder. “I thought ‘well there’s a bird I’ve never seen before’,” Stephenson said. “Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal.”

Facebook/South Florida Wildlands Association

Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal in the photos is an adult male. He said its unusual color is from a genetic condition. Cardinals are normally red, but because of its condition what should have been red feathers are bright yellow instead

“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 bird curator and researcher, he  has never seen one yellow cardinal in person!

Facebook/South Florida Wildlands Association

“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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