Extremely Rare Yellow Cardinal Has Been Photographed In Alabama

February 28, 2018

A resident of Alabaster, Alabama noticed an extremely rare bird at her bird feeder in January.

"I thought 'Well there's a bird I've never seen before,'" Charlie Stephenson told AL.com. "Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal."

yellow cardinal alabama
Credit: Jeremy Black Photography

Jeremy Black, a professional photographer who is friends with Stephenson, saw she posted about the bird on Facebook and asked if he could come over and photograph it.

On Feb. 19, Black snapped the shot of a lifetime after about five hours of waiting.

yellow cardinal alabama
Credit: Jeremy Black Photography

"This evening I got lucky enough to spot the rare yellow cardinal again in Alabaster, Alabama. I'm so grateful to be able to share these portraits with you all!" Jeremy wrote on Facebook.

According to Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill, the bird carries a genetic mutation that causes its normally bright red feathers to instead be a brilliant shade of yellow.

Hill said the mutation is so rare that he has never seen one in person.

"I've been birdwatching in the range of cardinals for 40 years and I've never seen a yellow bird in the wild," he said.

Hill says that yellow cardinals are a "one in a million mutation."

Watch a video of the rare bird below.

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