Half-Male, Half-Female Bird

  • Thread starter Evo
  • Start date
  • #1
Evo
Mentor
23,176
2,947
I was not aware of such a thing.

n-CARDINAL-large570.jpg


You don't have to be an ornithologist to know that red northern cardinals are male and brownish-gray ones are female.

But what about a Cardinalis cardinalis that sports red feathers on one side of its body and brownish-gray feathers on the other? Why, that cardinal is half-male and half-female, of course--and just such a rare bird has been observed in northwestern Illinois.

An example of a phenomenon biologists call bilateral gynandromorphism, the bird was observed for more than 40 days between Dec. 2008 and March 2010--and it certainly caught the attention of the scientists who spotted it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/...dinal-plumage_n_6392336.html?utm_hp_ref=birds
 
  • Like
Likes Digitalism, PWiz, lisab and 6 others

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
That's amazing, isn't it? I recently heard about it as well, butterflies are beautiful examples as well.
 
  • Like
Likes Greg Bernhardt and Evo
  • #4
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
26,388
9,883
Like Frank Gorshin in Star Trek!
 
  • Like
Likes edward, dlgoff and Evo
  • #5
67
166
If a male cardinal approaches on the red side and starts to pick a fight this little birdie only has to turn the other cheek. :D

Shades of the Starship Enterprise:

Intriguingly, another gynandromorph cardinal sighted briefly in 1969 had the opposite plumage, they note: the male’s bright red plumes on the right, the drabber female feathers on the left.
bold mine

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/12/half-male-half-female-bird-has-rough-life
 
Last edited:
  • #6
156
203
Based on my observations and interactions with quite many people, I think most "gay" males of higher social positions in life share this feature.
If a male cardinal approaches on the red side and starts to pick a fight this little birdie only has to turn the other cheek....
 
  • #8
Evo
Mentor
23,176
2,947
I know this is a relatively old post, but just thought I'd chime in. I think the term is actually 'leucistic' http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/08/abnormal-coloration-in-birds-melanin-reduction/. It is not both male and female, it just has a reduction in melanin on one half of its body, for whatever reason. It's definitely not unheard of, but the symmetry is pretty spectacular.
No, the condition is a gynandromorph and is an organism that contains both male and female characteristics. Please read the information posted before replying.
 
  • #9
413
37
Yes, I read that. I was only suggesting that it looks much whiter than a typical female cardinal. Females are not white, they actually have a fair amount of color, suggesting this bird might be leucistic instead of a gynandromorph.

Either way, it's surprising that they never actually caught the bird to sample its DNA, yet an article is apparently published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
 
  • Like
Likes Silicon Waffle
  • #10
Evo
Mentor
23,176
2,947
Yes, I read that. I was only suggesting that it looks much whiter than a typical female cardinal. Females are not white, they actually have a fair amount of color, suggesting this bird might be leucistic instead of a gynandromorph.

Either way, it's surprising that they never actually caught the bird to sample its DNA, yet an article is apparently published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.
Yes, it does look much whiter so there could be a reason for the lighter coloring for the female half as you state, but it's still half male/half female.
 
  • Like
Likes Silicon Waffle

Related Threads on Half-Male, Half-Female Bird

  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
35
Views
7K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
51
Views
18K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
36
Views
4K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
95
Views
9K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
35
Views
8K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
90
Views
43K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
26
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
166
Views
71K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
74
Views
27K
Top