There’s no flitting around it, this is a rare bird.
A cardinal that appears to be half-female and half-male was recently spotted in Pennsylvania.
Jamie Hill, a birdwatcher for 48 years, documented the unusual sighting in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“I had a once-in-a-lifetime, one in a million bird encounter!” he wrote.
A friend of Hill’s had told him about an “unusual bird” seen at a bird feeder in Grand Valley in Warren County.
The creature was bright red like a male cardinal on one side and brownish white like a female on the other.
Hill flocked to the location to see the northern cardinal for himself — and immediately recognized it as a bilateral gynandromorph, meaning one side of it is male and the other female.
“This bird would have a functioning ovary on its left side and a functioning single testis on its right,” Hill wrote. “Theoretically, this bird could either mate with a normal male cardinal and lay fertile eggs, or it could mate with a normal female cardinal and father her eggs!”
Though not unheard of, mixed sex birds are rare.
However, it’s actually not the first time one such feathered friend has been spotted in Pennsylvania.
Another half-male, half-female cardinal was spotted outside of Erie two years ago and featured in National Geographic magazine.