A rare sunny yellow cardinal has been spotted on the Treasure Coast. Usually cardinals are a bright red color, at least the males.
But, Tracy Workman of Port St. Lucie made the “one in a million” find recently, discovering a rare yellow cardinal outside her home.
Audubon of Martin County President John Nelson says a yellow cardinal has a genetic mutation that affects its plumage.
“Instead of being red it’s yellow. Kind of like albinoism in humans,” Nelson told WPTV, who added there are only about three yellow cardinal sightings a year.
“To see a yellow cardinal, you can put that on your life list and if you do that you’re in pretty rarified air,” said Nelson.
Two weeks ago, Workman first spotted a rare yellow cardinal outside her home and then it showed up again late last week and she named it “Sunny.”
Workman doesn’t want to pinpoint the exact location of the bird sighting, but did say “Sunny” visited the River Park neighborhood.
According to a report in National Geographic, a yellow northern cardinal has a “one in a million” genetic mutation that turns its red feathers yellow, said Geoffrey Hill, a bird curator at Auburn University.
The National Audubon Society said the northern cardinal is “abundant in the Southeast, it has been extending its range northward for decades, and it now brightens winter days with its color and its whistled song as far north as southeastern Canada.”