We got Ken and Wilma the Audubon bird camera for Christmas, and it has taken many entertaining photos of the four species of birds in their backyard.
At first we all fell into the "Christmas mouse" thinking - you see a mouse every couple of days in the winter; you think it's one mouse. "There's our Christmas mouse." When you have a seething mewling horde of two thousand vermin.
Much like "Oh, there's our groundhog."
So, all the wrens look the same, all the ground birds look the same, all the male cardinals look the same (outraged!), but the each female cardinal has her own stylist. One has a ratty crest, one has a chipped beak. Still they fit the standard form:
Then lo, we came upon a photo of a female cardinal that was a lot hotter than the others.
(These aren't the actual photos, but the best representations I could steal off the 'net.)
This new bird looked like a female cardinal who had been through the wash. She was at least 50% paler than the others. Wilma admired her greatly.
Ken said "She's a mulatto!"
This killed me, because Ken is almost ninety and I think some leeway is allowed, and at least he didn't say "She's an octoroon!" We steered the language away from that shortly after.
It did make me wonder if you can breed birds like you breed horses and dogs. Or perhaps I have seen the legendary albino cardinal.
Can you have a mixed bird?