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So, we have had this cardinal that we see that totally looks like a girl only the belly/breast is all more reddish... tomato-ish. Just not right. We named her rose I think. I've wondered for a while if it was JUST a little off in color OR if, perhaps, there was a gene issue... boy/girl? 

I'm not 100% certain if it was the same bird, though I think it is, but we saw one a little while ago that looked the same but also has black on the face coming in. The belly is still a lighter tomato red than a normal male cardinal and the back is ALL grayish like the typical female.

I think you can imagine that description enough to have some thoughts... but if you need pictures, I can probably put some up. (don't feel like it at the moment)

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I would like to see photos.  Your description reminded me of this cardinal on the left that I photographed in 2010.  I have always called it a female.

nocas.thumb.jpg.a7a94a093095027adf980c58b612d0f9.jpg

 

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I got a few pictures, none of them great. Was at the feeder so I stood up to take a picture through the dirty window.

noca.JPG

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49 minutes ago, millipede said:

I got a few pictures, none of them great. Was at the feeder so I stood up to take a picture through the dirty window.

noca.JPG

Looks like a female to me.

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There's a lot of black under that bill. Compare to TBN'S cardinal up above, which shows a more female-looking throat.  I would call millipede's bird a male.

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3 hours ago, Bee_ keeper said:

There's a lot of black under that bill.

That's exactly why I brought this one up. I don't know how well the picture shows it but the amount of red on the breast/belly is just more intense than all the females in the yard. The back sure looks like a female...  But that day we noticed the face and it just had the kind of black you'd see on a male.
I'm okay with this not being settles one way or another but find it to be an interesting bird and had to share. :)

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2 hours ago, millipede said:

I'm okay with this not being settles one way or another but find it to be an interesting bird and had to share. :)

Definitely, very interesting bird.  It would be really interesting to see if it eventually pairs up with another cardinal, or shows any changes to its appearance.  Hopefully you can keep us posted if it continues to hang around.

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On 2/1/2019 at 3:30 PM, Jerry Friedman said:

I can't help, but I thought I'd link to this "half-male half-female" cardinal.

Many (most?) gynandromorphs are bilateral, that is one side has female plumage, the other male.  I'd guess that this bird is the result of one of two processes:  either it is 1) erythristic (that is, the reddish color is abnormally extensive), which is a genetic anomaly or 2) it's an old female that has started taking on male plumage traits due to declining female-hormone levels.  Male is the default sex in birds (opposite that of humans in which females are homozygous, that is, "XX" and female is the default sex because of it).  In birds, female plumage is expressed mostly because female hormones over-ride male plumage expression.

[The use of the terms "boy" and "girl" should be restricted to non-adult humans; likewise "baby."]

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Very informative. Thanks.

14 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

[The use of the terms "boy" and "girl" should be restricted to non-adult humans; likewise "baby."] 

I hope you can tolerate me here. I do believe I'm more likely to say male and female most of the time but, I can't make any promises OR apologies for using the wrong terms.

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