Charlie Stephenson was looking out into her backyard in Alabaster, Alabama, when she had the pleasure of witnessing an incredibly rare (and beautiful) sight.
There near her feeder was a yellow northern cardinal, something Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill describes as a “one-in-a million situation.” While Stephenson is used to seeing red cardinals in her backyard, yellow ones are extremely uncommon, as their color comes from a genetic mutation.
Since that first spotting back in January, Stephenson says the brightly-colored visitor returns on a regular basis — giving photographer Jeremy Black the amazing opportunity to capture the bird on film.
“This yellow cardinal displays a rare mutation that causes the metabolic process to produce a different type of pigment than the typical red coloration,” Black wrote. “According to a biologist from Auburn University, this mutation is so rare that only one is seen each year in the United States.”
According to Professor Hill, who is a bird curator and researcher, the cardinal is an adult male — and a bird he’s never before seen in person. Check out footage of this stunning creature below.
(via Love What Matters)