It was a once in a lifetime sighting for bird experts at the Powdermill Nature Reserve at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, after they discovered an extremely both male and female songbird. The last time the experts found a similar bird was nearly 15 years ago. This bird os only the fifth half-female half-male, the nature reserve had ever discovered.
The tiny bird is identified as a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The females of the species usually have a yellow-brown color under their wings, while males have an eye-catching pink ‘wing pits.’ But in this particularly situation, the bird discovered has different colored wings, which makes it half-male half-female.
The rare discovery left the bird experts completely baffled. “Everyone here, I mean the whole crew, was just so excited,” Annie Lindsay with the Powdermill Nature Reserve told CNN. “There was this scientific interest, of course. But also happiness for seeing something that was so rare.”
This extremely rare condition is known as gynandromorphism and it occurs due to a genetic variation. Given its rare occurrence, the scientists cannot predict its impact on the bird’s life. “There probably aren’t any advantages to it,” Lindsay said. “It will definitely impact its ability to mate.”
A few years ago, a couple from Pennsylvania had accidentally discovered a half-male, half-female cardinal in their backyard. The rare bird paid a visit to Jeffrey and Shirley Caldwell’s bird-feeder, leaving them open-mouthed.
They managed to capture some photos of it, though. Speaking for National Geographic, Shirley explained the unique experience: “Never did we ever think we would see something like this in all the years we’ve been feeding,” she said. “As you can see, the left side is male and the right female.”
Have a look!