Birders and biologists are reportedly heading to Alabama after pictures of a yellow cardinal started to circulate online, AL.com reported.
Geoffrey Hill, a biology professor at Auburn, told the website that the cardinal in photos appears to be a male and carries a genetic mutation, hence the bright yellow plumage. The bird was first spotted in January.
"I've been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I've never seen a yellow bird in the wild," Hill, who is on sabbatical in Australia, told AL.com via email. "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."
The woman who first spotted the bird in Shelby County said the bird arrives in her backyard at least once a day, but did not give out her address because she doesn’t want bird tourists knocking on her door.