Rare Yellow Cardinal in Alabaster has captured the hearts of Alabamians this week

Yellow Cardinal
Yellow Cardinal
Photo via Facebook by Jeremy Black

Bham Now  readers have likely been seeing this beautiful and rare Yellow Cardinal all over their social media feeds this week .  The rare bird has  captured the hearts of Alabamians and is about to go national with a feature story by  the National Audubon Society.

Here is a quick rundown of posts/articles and local television coverage describing this rare bird.

Many in the birding community first found out about this rare bird sighting on the Alabama Rare Bird Alert Facebook page. The photographer who  photographed its image, Jeremy Black, posted the following description and the now iconic picture.


Yellow Cardinal
Photo via Facebook by Jeremy Black

“This morning Charlie Stephenson provided me with the opportunity to photograph the most captivating cardinal in Alabaster, Alabama. This yellow cardinal displays a rare mutation that causes the metabolic process to produce a different type of pigment than the typical red coloration. According to a biologist from Auburn University, this mutation is so rare that only one is seen each year in the United States. To see updates on this cardinal please check out”

Once Black shared the image, the story went gone viral (Consider visiting Jeremy Black’s Facebook page. He is selling professional prints of the beautiful photo he made public). As of this morning, February 23rd, Black’s post on the Rare Bird Alert has been shared nearly 9,527 times.

Birmingham Audubon helped get the ball rolling by picking up on the story and re-posting the Alabama Rare Bird Alert post on February 19th.

Television and newspaper jumps in

WIAT CBS 42 then produced a delightful story on Wednesday morning about the Yellow Cardinal  hanging out near the new Thompson High School.


That story was followed up yesterday by al.com’s Dennis Pillion with a story titled ‘One in a million’ yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama.

Yellow Cardinal Mania Goes National

Shortly after the al.com article was published Yellow Cardinal mania got another boost, this time with an article by the National Audubon Society.

Why Is This Northern Cardinal Yellow?  is now making it’s way on social media.


What’s next with this famous Yellow Cardinal from Alabaster? Perhaps the new Thompson High School could change their mascot from the Thompson Warriors to the Thompson Yellow Cardinals ?

We do know one thing.  This little Yellow Cardinal has captured our hearts and in the midst of all the troubling news over the past week, given us a all a chance to smile.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.