Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

leucistic Northern cardinals

Cardinalis cardinalis


Though male cardinals are normally colored red this male showed up at my place that has patches of pink and white feathers. When doing research to be sure it wasn't diseased or poisoned from nearby watering holes, I found out that he is what is referred to as leucistic - All pigments present but in reduced amounts - or Melanin present in body but not in the feathers - strangely enough I had two Leucisitc cardinals visit - the second one is either a female or young male, hard to tell due to the odd feather colorations. Though this was taken last year, the second cardinal has returned to my feeders and pond. No sign of the bright red male yet. I hope to get better photos this year.


The same as a normal cardinal, though I have noticed that they are picked on by the other cardinals. Reminded me of Rudolph being left out of the reindeer games - so I made sure to put food out in different places so both strangely colored birds could eat in peace.


Other birds are also know to have leucism forms. When doing a Google Search for other Leucistic cardinals, I noticed several were spotted and posted last year..things that make you go hmmmm

No species ID suggestions


MaryEvans2 6 years ago

Thank you auntnance123, however using Firefox I cannot see the last two photos when editing the spotting - as they drop down behind the first information box.

auntnance123 6 years ago

How interesting--a new sight for me. Your final photo is quite striking (you might considered moving it to the first position).

MaryEvans2 6 years ago

Thank you Karen and Birding...One of the reasons I love Project Noah, you learn so much from other's posts..

KarenL 6 years ago

You might like to add this to the Rare Color Morphs mission too. As there is presently a 5 mission max maybe remove it from Birds of the World so you can join this mission.

KarenL 6 years ago

Great series!

Birding For Fun
Birding For Fun 6 years ago

Fantastic Photo Mary. I have heard of this in cardinals, but have never observed it. A friend told me of seeing a Yellow variation on a Northern Cardinal as well. I have a link to a story about them, but this is not the one here in Ohio. Thanks for posting.

Greenville, Florida, USA

Lat: 30.47, Long: -83.63

Spotted on Feb 11, 2011
Submitted on Feb 10, 2012

Related spottings

Northern Cardinal Cardinal Northern Cardinal Northern Cardinal

Nearby spottings

Longheaded Toothpick Grasshopper Eyed Click Beetle Anhinga Wild Turkey