A rare half-male, half-female cardinal was spotted in western Pennsylvania recently, and The Morning Call spoke to local ornithology experts, including Mike Butler, associate professor of biology, to gain insights. Experts shared that this sighting¬†illustrates that there’s more variation in birds and other animals than most may think.

“Things like that are exciting to me because, one, it’s very neat and very interesting, and two, it kind of raises the possibility of how often does this happen and we don’t even notice it,” he said.

Butler is an organismal biologist with a particular interest in physiological ecology and animal behavior. His primary areas of research pertain to birds. His goal is to better understand how their coloration, immune function, nutrition, and behavior are influenced by the world around them.


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