Charlie Stephenson was looking out into her backyard in Alabaster, Alabama, when she had the pleasure of witnessing an incredibly rare (and beautiful) sight.
There near her feeder was a yellow northern cardinal, something Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill describes as a “one-in-a million situation.” While Stephenson is used to seeing red cardinals in her backyard, yellow ones are extremely uncommon, as their color comes from a genetic mutation.
Since that first spotting back in January, Stephenson says the brightly-colored visitor returns on a regular basis — giving photographer Jeremy Black the amazing opportunity to capture the bird on film.
“This yellow cardinal displays a rare mutation that causes the metabolic process to produce a different type of pigment than the typical red coloration,” Black wrote. “According to a biologist from Auburn University, this mutation is so rare that only one is seen each year in the United States.”
According to Professor Hill, who is a bird curator and researcher, the cardinal is an adult male — and a bird he’s never before seen in person. Check out footage of this stunning creature below.
(via Love What Matters)
Nature sure is gorgeous, isn’t it? Something tells me ticket sales for flights to Alabama are about to spike pretty soon.
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