A Half Male, Half Female Cardinal

Image: Brian D. Peer and Robert W. Motz

This photo is not the product of some Redditor's use of Photoshop to create a funny hybrid. This is an extremely rare find in nature: a half male, half female northern cardinal. Referred to by scientists as a gynandromorph, these dual gender specimens are known to be found in insect, crustacean and bird populations.

The bird shown above was discovered in Rock Island, Illinois by ornithologists Brian D. Peer and Robert W. Motz. They observed the bird for a period of 40 days, during which they studied its interaction with other birds and its responses to various bird calls. The bird did not appear to have a mate, nor did it sing. The recorded observations of Peer and Motz were published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Read more about this gynandromorph at i09 and Science. 

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