Vannessa Canning from New Gloucester caught a great picture of a rare white cardinal.

 

She wanted to share such a neat bird, because you just don't often see them.

Facebook/Vannessa Canning

 

According to Gardens All, a white cardinal has a condition called leucism, which brought on by a lack of melanin-producing enzymes that can cause a bird to be white (albinism).

Why would this happen?  Apparently there are lots of reason, but it happens every once in a while. For cardinals it's about 1 in every 1800 birds.

Facebook/Vannessa Canning

They are rare, because they don't live long. Because of their coloring, they are seen more (more than the bright red ones?!) by predators. They also, don't have the 'normal' coloring, so getting a mate is harder. If this is a female in New Gloucester...she seems all set.

Facebook/Vannessa Canning

It seems to happen more to birds that are brown in color than yellow in color. There has even been spotted a yellow cardinal!

Thank you Vannessa for sharing such a neat site! Hopefully she/he survives a long time!