Woman spots ‘one-in-a-million’ yellow cardinal in her backyard

Posted at 8:04 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 09:04:33-04

THEODORE, Ala.  —An Alabama woman witnessed a “one in a million” yellow cardinal enjoying her backyard.

Karem Maldonado, of Theodore, told WKRG that she is an avid gardener and bird watcher, with nine feeders in her yard.

Last week, she was taking pictures when she spotted a yellow cardinal she named “Mr. Sunshine.” Pictures she posted to Facebook of the bright bird have gone viral. Maldonado said she has received comments from people across the country who have been searching for years to find one.

Auburn University ornithologist, Dr. Geoffrey Hill, said the yellow cardinal has a rare genetic mutation where the DNA has stopped production of red pigment.

“All animals carry a DNA code, and all animals have mutations. Certain mutations have a dramatic effect on what the organism will look like. This shows that nature is not static. It is a work in progress and is changing,” Hill said.

This isn’t the first time the dazzling creature has been spotted. A woman in Alabaster, Alabama, caught a rare glimpse of the bird last year.