The rare phenomenon that makes the red crested bird of North Texas has a very special two-tone plumage.
The northern red crest has a distinctive red coat in males and light brown in females, but the bird photographed by the Inland Bird Banding Association (IBBA) in 2014 has different colors on either side of the body.
According to IBBA, it is the result of a phenomenon of bilateral gynandromorphism. The bird that experiences this phenomenon has both an ovary and a testis.
The IBBA says the bird returns to Texas every winter. After IBBA shared a photo of the bird on Facebook in late November, its unique feather color drew more than 58,000 shares and 6,800 comments.
Although rare, individual hermaphrodites occur in insects, at a rate of 1 in 10,000 moths. This phenomenon was first discovered in the 18th century through a bicolour lobster.
Scientists later added crabs, bees, snakes, and several birds to the list.
The Northern Red Ridge is widely distributed from southern Canada to Mexico. This songbird has a body length of 21 cm. They feed mainly on seeds, insects and fruits.
Males are territorial. The northern red crest usually lays 3-4 eggs per litter.