Pennsylvania Bird Lover Spots a Rare Half-Male Half-Female Cardinal Perched on a Tree in Her Backyard

Longtime Pennsylvania bird watcher Shirley Caldwell captured beautiful photos through her Erie kitchen window, of an incredibly rare gynandromorph cardinal who had landed on a tree in her backyard. It didn’t take long for her to notice the unique chimeral red (male) and tan (female) markings indicating the dual nature of the bird. The cardinal was definitely a surprise visitor.

Never did we ever think we would see something like this in all the years we’ve been feeding…

National Geographic created a very helpful video explaining this rare “half-sider” bird.

The anomaly is known as a bilateral gynandromorph. In plain language: Half its body is male and the other half is female. …Gynandromorphs, known as “half-siders” among ornithologists, are uncommon but not unheard of. They likely occur across all species of birds, Hooper says, but we’re only likely to notice them in species where the adult males and females look distinct from each other, a trait known as sexual dimorphism.

via National Geographic