Back in Jan. 2011, Dr. Larry Ammann, a professor at UT Dallas, saw something in his back yard. At his bird feeder, he saw what appeared to be a female cardinal. Then, when she turned around, Ammann saw that the other half of the bird was colored like a male cardinal. Female cardinals typically have a brown coloring, and the males are red.
Being a professor, Ammann did his research and figured out why the bird appeared to be half male, half female. It turns out that the bird was a bilateral gynandromorph, which is an animal that has both male and female characteristics, usually split down the middle of the body. The change is caused by a genetic mistake before birth.
View from the male side of the bird.
View from the female side.
Here is comparison of two normal cardinals. On the left is a male, and on the right is a female. See how the hybrid bird blends?
The dual coloring makes this cardinal extra majestic.
The bird also made an appearance on Jeopardy. Contestants needed to know what a gynandromorph is.
Sadly, after its initial appearance Ammann did not see the bird for another two years.
Then in February 2013 he saw it again at his feeder.
Since then, the bird had become a regular visitor.
Nature is awesome, 'nuff said. Click below to share this story with all your bird loving friends on Facebook.