Woman discovers rare yellow cardinal in her garden

Posted at 7:04 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 08:04:17-04

A rare bird is a frequent flier in one Theodore, Alabama neighborhood. A cardinal that's yellow instead of red has been sighted in one woman's garden.

The cardinal rule of cardinals is that they're red. But just like all rules, there's bound to be at least one exception.

When Karen Maldonado saw this yellow exception, she made sure to catch it on camera.

"I decided I was just going to practice taking pictures with the red ones, so I was just sitting down kind of hiding behind a green pillow," Maldonado said.

Karen says she stayed still - then he appeared.

"Well at that point I focused on the bird. He kept on coming. I kept on walking toward the window which I thought would just deter him and go away. He wasn't scared."

Researchers at the University of Auburn say the bird has a rare genetic mutation. Dr. Geoffrey Hill says it's similar to albinism in humans.

"To me it's just very special. My dad's been dead for 41 years, so that might be my dad. That's the southern thing, they say is if a cardinal comes in your yard, it's because a dead one is visiting, and I said, I must have a party going on in my yard."

Karen's dad was from Ohio, whose state bird is the cardinal.