‘It was one of the experiences of a lifetime’
A bird-watcher in Pennsylvania snapped a photo of a “one-in-a-million” encounter with a northern cardinal that was half male and half female.
Jamie Hill, 69, who has been bird-watching for nearly 50 years, spotted the unusual sight of the half red, half white bird, in a tree in Warren County, outside of the city of Erie, last week.
“It was one of the experiences of a lifetime,” Mr Hill told USA Today.
That’s because male northern cardinals have bright red feathers, and females have tan feathers.
This bird was both.
The extremely rare phenomenon is known as “a bilateral gynandromorph”. They differ from hermaphrodites who share both or partial male and female sexual reproductive organs, in that their whole body is divided down the middle biologically and it could, therefore, theoretically mate with either a male or female, and produce young. Continue reading