Bird Entusists Lost Their Shit When Someone Spotted A Rare Yellow Cardinal In Alabama Last Week

Submitted by: fancylad 3 months ago in News & Politics


If a cardinal isn't red, is it really a cardinal?

From AL

An extremely rare cardinal has birders and biologists flocking to Shelby County, Alabama this week, as images of a yellow cardinal have circulated around social media. 

Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal in the photos is an adult male in the same species as the common red cardinal, but carries a genetic mutation that causes what would normally be brilliant red feathers to be bright yellow instead. 

Alabaster resident Charlie Stephenson first noticed the unusual bird at her backyard feeder in late January and posted about it on Facebook. She said she's been birding for decades but it took her some time to figure out what she was seeing.

"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."

Stephenson said she would not give out her address or specific location due to fears that people would flock in to get a look at the bird, but said she lives near the new Thompson High School in Alabaster. She shot some video of the bird, embedded below. The yellow cardinal is still around, she said. 

"Every time I watch the bird feeder, I can see him," she 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.
There are 14 comments:
Male 4,949
Very cool.
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Male 1,767
that's no cardinal.  Its the even rarer Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker. 

When they start to suck sap....it is a wondrous thing to behold!
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Male 33
spanz I know you're joshing here. But just to clarify to others: as funny as the name sounds, there IS a yellow-bellied sapsucker in the U.S. It's a woodpecker.

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Male 9,575
Rammer Jammer Yellow  Hammer.
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Male 938
I think yellow suits it better!

Actually, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_cardinal if you look at the female here, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine a nice yellow one is possible. I cannot tell the sex of the bird (not an ornithologist), but if the females are that colour then, gene 'errors' are entirely possible. 


Either that or someone was painting a 'golden M' and didn't notice the cardinal sitting on it!
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Male 7,254
stifler Stif, I have a bird question for you. Years ago, I had a pair of zebra finches named Hans and Lotta. I remember learning that zebra finches are native to Australia. My question: Do you ever see zebra finches flying around? I mean, are they common there in the way that sparrows are common in the U.S.?

The male zebra finch makes a very funny call, by the way: "Zeebuhduh zeebuhduh zeebuhduh beep-beep-beep!" Very entertaining little birds.

A pair of zebra finches. Males are easily identifiable by the orange cheeks and black-barred throats.
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Male 938
squrlz4ever As you would well know then Zebra Finches (Finches in general I believe) like dry hot.

So that generally rules out all our major cities (perhaps with the exception of Perth, but even then not so often) I have seen them in my area - very occasionally. I know when one is in the gum tree in my backyard; noisy fuckers! Total narcissists, love the sound of their own voice!

FYI, At home I am surrounded by native king parrots, rosellas, sulphur-crested cockatoos (and the occasional black), galahs and lorikeets.




I do not ever need an alarm clock for the morning.. ;-P
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Male 7,254
stifler Thanks for the info. That was fun. You know your birds!

Incidentally, one of the most interesting scientific studies I've read in recent years found that zebra finches actually communicate with their unborn chicks while they're still in the shell. By making a certain call during heat waves, the adults can essentially instruct the chicks to not put on as much weight since smaller chicks tend to have higher survival rates in heat waves than heavier ones. Amazing, huh?

Birds sing to their unborn chicks to warn them about hot weather
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Male 938
squrlz4ever  Before sleeping interruption!
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Male 938
stifler  After my rude interruption!

retfA
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Male 938
stifler  Late evening I found him hiding in another tree - Just waking up and looking for rodents to slaughter for breakfast!
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Male 938
squrlz4ever Holy hand grenade! That is amazing. I guess this is along similar lines of how human babies feel/hear the mums heartbeat, and from another study start developing an accent before birth.

Darwin never felt more relevant!

I have a photo of a rather unsusual young fellow who has made his home in my yard trees of recent. He is a Tawny Frogmouth. He has been here for 2 years, and is only young, but he is looking for a partner.

By that I mean, during rooting season he is calling like mad. Not as bad as the Koalas, but he is keen, starts at dusk and goes till dawn. Unfortunately he likes the tree closest to my bedroom window.. fucker!.  I hope he gets a root next year, I've had enough! lol!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_frogmouth

I have a photo of him 'camouflaged' and another with his 'what the fuck are you looking at' face. (the first photo sound prompted the second! hah_)

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Male 7,254
stifler Those are great photos, thanks. Looks like a huge tree, too. A ficus tree, maybe? 
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Male 938
squrlz4ever eucalyptus tree. (Gum tree to aussies). the first one is a variant of the 'ghost gum'. second is a stringybark.

We aussies name things in such a complicated way! like the poms and their white cliffs of dover! heheh
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