Sunday, July 05, 2009

What's Up With Mr Cardinal?


As always, click on photo to enlarge

Is he a juvenile?

A mutant?

Have a disease or just going bald??
Poor guy.

19 comments:

~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

Poor fella!
I wonder what's up with him..... hope he's ok!

jan m said...

I had a red-winged blackbird show up in my yard a couple of years ago with the same lack of feathers on the head. Since then I have seen other bloggers post similar photos of blue jays and cardinals, but I've never seen an answer as to what causes this.

Jayne said...

Poor guy. No clue why he'd lose feathers like that. A fight maybe? I'll ask the Science Chimp to look and see. :c) Have a beautiful day Deena.

Julie Zickefoose said...

The Science Chimp says this cardinal is afflicted with feather mites, which are horrid this year--I showered a bunch off last night after changing an infested bluebird nest. They look like the period at the end of this sentence and they itch like crazy. Birds can usually try to preen them off their bodies but can't reach their heads, and some cardinals and occasionally jays lose their head feathers when badly infested. It's especially striking because cardinals have blackish skin and look like vultures when they go bald. The good news is, the problem usually resolves with the late-summer molt, and he'll go into winter with a full head of hair.

The thing I haven't figured out is why you see it so much more on male cardinals than female. Is it because the males visit feeders more while females stay on the nest?

I got a batch on my arms while filling the feeders, too! Ecch!

Eee! Eee! Eee! Science Chimp, swinging off.

Cherrie said...

Wow I have never seen anything like that before!

Sara Williams said...

Maybe he has mites.

However, this post has really made me think.

My first reaction was... he is beautiful even though he is bald.

All the time since losing my hair I feel so ugly. Maybe I am seeing somthing that others don't, maybe my friends and family still think I am pretty even without hair...

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Awwww poor little guy. At least it doesn't seem to be anything fatal and he'll be fine when the cold weather comes in. -Jackie

Cheryl said...

Hi Deena.....poor cardinal.....I have just read other comments...poor thing, looks like his condition is going to get worse.....

The Victorian Parlor said...

Poor guy! He's still beautiful even with missing feathers on his head:).

Blessings,

Kim

Ginnymo said...

I read the other's comments so know what caused this. I have seen BlueJays like that and wondered what was wrong. Now I know! That poor thing sure don't look as pretty. They are such beautiful birds. I have not seen any birds like that this year. Thank heavens. It's the squirrels that have a problem. Poor little guys. Yikes! I wouldn't want those mites on me like that one guy said..LOL Take care Deena!!

ShySongbird said...

Such a shame for such a lovely coloured bird, Must be horrible to have an itch you can't scratch! ;)

Debra said...

Yes! A million times yes-bald is beautiful-don't never forget it!!
~Debra

Anonymous said...

I have one of these cardinals as well. I researched it on the internet and apparently they molt a couple of times a year, but to lose that much on his head is usually feather mites.

Anonymous said...

Scroll down to number 6 in this link:
http://www.audubon.org/bird/at_home/faq.html

Here are a couple of more links with info on the balding beauties:

http://www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek030701.html

http://blogs.fayobserver.com/livewire/2008/06/29/bald-birds/

http://www.birdchick.com/wp/category/cardinal/

Anonymous said...

Here is a bald red winged black bird:

http://cs.birdersworld.com/brdcs/photos/atypical_birds/picture61379.aspx

Anonymous said...

http://blog.wildsidenaturetours.com/2009/06/bald-cardinals.html

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