Rare yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama woman's yard

THEODORE, Alabama -- A rare bird is a frequent flyer in one Theodore, Alabama neighborhood.

WKRG-TV reports, a cardinal that's yellow instead of red has been sighted in one woman's garden.

The cardinal rule of cardinals is they're red. But just like all rules, there's bound to be at least one exception.

When Karem Maldonado saw the yellow exception she made sure to catch it on camera.

"I decided I was just going to practice taking pictures with the red ones. So, I was just sitting down kind of hiding behind a green pillow," she said.

Karem says she stayed still, and then he appeared.

"Well at that point I focused on the bird. He kept on coming. I kept on walking toward the window, which I thought would just deter him and go away. He wasn't scared," Karem said.

Researchers at the University of Auburn say the bird has a rare genetic mutation.

Doctor Geoffrey Hill says it's similar to albinism in humans. Whatever the cause, Karem says the sighting touches her heart.

"To me it's just very special. My dad's been dead for 41 years, so that might be my dad," Karem said.

Karem's dad was from Ohio, whose state bird is the cardinal.

"That's the southern thing they say is if a cardinal comes in your yard, it's because a dead one is visiting. And I said, I must have a party going on in my yard," she said.

Karem says she's seen the bird more than once, and they generally only travel five miles from where they nest.

So, if you're in the Theodore area, keep an eye out for that rare yellow cardinal.