Monday, December 29, 2014

Loveless bird

Spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois, U.S.: an avian half-and-half. This Northern Cardinal exhibits an anomaly known to exist in insects, crustaceans, and birds. One half of its body has the characteristic dull plumage of a female, while the other half is the bright red of a male. Known as gynandromorphs, these rare half-female, half-male animals are difficult to study in the wild, but scientists were able to observe this bird for more than 40 days. They report in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology that it was not antagonized by other birds, but neither did it appear to have a mate and it never sang.

1 comment:

  1. This made me tear up a bit - poor lonely, mute bird.

    Anyway, happy holidays from a long-time reader, and a big thanks for all the work and thought you put into your blog. Nine times out of ten, it's the most interesting part of my day!


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