[CT Birds] Strange cardinal

teustis at killingworthlibrary.org teustis at killingworthlibrary.org
Mon Jul 28 13:40:51 EDT 2014

Hi, Dorothy!
Never fear - that cardinal is just in the throes of some very
unattractive molting. In late summer and fall, birds go through a
molting process - most lose and regrow their old feathers gradually, but
some lose them altogether. Hence the baldness. It's especially striking
on cardinals and blue jays, since they usually sport tall tufts.
Some scientists think that some birds go totally bald due to environment
or nutrition factors, mites, or lice.
Your cardinal will be sporting new feathers soon enough, so don't worry
- you won't have to make him a hat for the winter!
:-)  Tammy Eustis, Chester

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [CT Birds] Strange cardinal
From: Tom and Dorothy Wadlow via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Date: Mon, July 28, 2014 1:13 pm
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>



I've had a very strange looking male cardinal coming to my feeder, often
the company of a normal cardinal pair. His head is completely gray. At
first I thought it was gray feathering, but when I took a photo a bit
in I discovered that the gray is skin. He has lost all the feathering on
his head except for a few wisps on the top. 


Any ideas what could have caused it? Has anyone seen something similar?


Here is the link to a photo:


Dorothy Wadlow




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