KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A rare yellow cardinal has been spotted in Tennessee that researchers say is "one in a million."
Jimmy Tucker is a wildlife photographer and the Knoxville Chapter President of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. He said a retired biologist contacted the local bird club to let them know there was a yellow cardinal hanging around her home in Kingston.
"I spent 4.5 hours on this sweet lady's porch waiting for the bird to provide a good look," Tucker wrote on Facebook. "It appears the bird is happy here & it should stick around."
After waiting patiently, Tucker was able to capture the beautiful images of the bird on camera. On Facebook, he said he went back to the property the next day and the cardinal was still there.
"He did not disappoint & gave me several good opportunities to photograph. I don't normally like to photograph birds on a feeder, but with this guy you take what you get. I took a couple new bags of food to the homeowner. Providing different food blends give the birds variety & some help with nesting birds. The homeowner, a retired biologist, is calling this bird 'Yellow Saffron.'"
Tucker said that the reason for the rare coloring is that "yellow cardinal's are missing a usual enzyme that converts the yellow pigments in food they eat to red pigments."
Tucker tells Fox 35 that he feels very lucky to be able to share such a rare sight with the world.
"It was amazing. In today's world, everyone is a photographer, right. To see something & capture something many people have never seen or even knew existed is amazing."
Yellow cardinals sightings have been lighting up the internet in recent years. Two others have been spotted in Georgia and Alabama.
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