‘One in a million’ yellow cardinal seen in Alabama

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ALABASTER, Ala. — An Alabama photographer captured a photo of a rare yellow cardinal.

Jeremy Black took the photograph of the rare yellow bird in Alabaster, Alabama.

Geoffrey Hill, a bird curator at Auburn University, told WFTS in Tampa, Florida, that it’s a rare male northern cardinal that has a “one in a million” genetic mutation that makes its red feathers turn yellow.

“This yellow cardinal displays a rare mutation causes the metabolic process to produce a different type of pigment than the typical red coloration,” Black wrote on his Facebook page.

Black said he photographed the bird after a friend, Charlie Stephenson, noticed it at her feeder in January.

“Every time I watch the bird feeder, I can see him,” Stephenson told The Birmingham News. “The cardinals in my backyard 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.”

Stephenson was able to shoot some video of the bird.

“I’ve been bird-watching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I’ve never seen a yellow bird in the wild,” Hill told the newspaper.

“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.”

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