CBS Local — Biologists say a woman in Alabama has a “one in a million” house guest as an extremely rare yellow cardinal has been filmed snacking at the homeowner’s bird feeder repeatedly.
“I thought ‘well there’s a bird I’ve never seen before’,” Charlie Stephenson said, via AL.com. “Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal.”
Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill says the rare find is definitely a genetic mutation of the common red cardinal. “I’ve been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I’ve never seen a yellow bird in the wild,” Prof. Hill said.
Hill added that there were likely only two or three yellow cardinals flying to outdoor bird feeders in the U.S. and Canada each year. “Yellow cardinals are a one in a million mutation.”
The rare songbird has reportedly made regular trips to Stephenson’s Alabaster home, giving her the chance to dazzle social media fans and birdwatchers with videos and pictures posted to Facebook. “As soon as I saw it on her social media, I was kind of curious and I wanted to go explore and see if I could find it,” professional photographer and Stephenson’s friend Jeremy Black said. “I finally saw it after about five hours.”