Polychrome Cardinal
Cardinalis chromaticus

Cardinals are known for being brightly colored, and the polychrome cardinal takes this to an extreme by appearing to be a different color to each person who sees it. One observer may see a brilliantly blue bird, another may experience it as lime green, and still another might see candy-cane stripes or leopard spots.

While a number of obvious morphological cues can help an experienced birdwatcher establish that they are looking at a polychrome cardinal, the mechanism by which the birds evoke different colors–and, rarely, patterns– in observers is totally unknown. The only constant seems to be that all polychrome cardinals are perceived as being the same color.

Except for females and juveniles, of course, which are mostly brown.

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