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Science fact of the day: Northern Cardinals sometime have yellow plumage

Northern Cardinals are known for their red plumage, but some of these birds have yellow feathers instead.

The theory is that these unique yellow feathers are caused by a genetic mutation that results in the bird missing the enzyme that converts yellow pigments in their food to red, leading to yellow feathers.

This mutation only affects an estimated 1 in 1 million birds, so seeing a Yellow Northern Cardinal (not to be confused with a Yellow Cardinal) is truly a rare event!


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