About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Birdwatcher is treated to half-male, half-female cardinal at feeder

This gynandromorphic cardinal was filmed by Shirley Caldwell in her backyard.
Occasionally a bird is born that contains both male and female characteristics like this Northern Cardinal. Bilateral Gynandromorphism is a condition in which one half of a bird’s body is male and the opposite half is female. And that two-sidedness goes even deeper than just the feathers. Both sides of a bird can develop independently, revealing that it is the bird's cells themselves that control their identity and growth

It's not exactly clear how often this occurs because some male and female birds look similar to our human eyes and a split might not be so easy to notice. However the cardinals' sexual dimorphism, allows an alert birdwatcher to see easily that something is not normal.

https://youtu.be/_hYOk8lPCZA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love learning something new like this.