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Claire Goldthwaite

Plymouth, MA, United States


I’ve seen bald-headed male cardinals before (in past years) and assumed it was just a molting issue, but this one seems to have a deformed bill as well. I first saw him on January 10, 2017 at the heated bird bath and then again on January 17.



Bald-headed Cardinal With Deformed Bill

Bald-headed Cardinal with deformed bill January 10, 2017

8 replies on “Bald-headed Cardinal with deformed bill”

Bev Flynn says:

I have the same thing, we have a bald male cardinal, bottom beak has extended growth, as yours does. Any reasoning behind it?

Georgeia says:

This summer we have been regularly seeing one like this, we’re in the metro Atlanta area

Brentwood, TN. We also have 1 male cardinal with no feathers on head. But his beak is fine. August 2, 2028

RebeccaS. says:

I have a female cardinal with an elongated top beak (about an inch long). The elongated top beak is translucent about half way down. She also has no feathers on her head and seems to be missing some wing feathers. Did anyone find out the cause?

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Rebecca, In 2016, a team of researchers identified a novel virus that has been linked to bill deformities, also known as Avian Keratin Disorder. You can read more about the deformity and that research on our webpage here.

Sandy Turner says:

3/7/23 I had a bald cardinal with a long beak in huntsville AL. Half of one side appeared to have broken off. Beak was side by side not top and bottom He was able to eat some seeds before he flew off.

Ludie says:

I had a bald male with a long deformed beak eating out of my flat feeder in Cedar Park Texas yesterday.
Glad to find this forum.

Siobhan Pickett says:

We have a cardinal with an overlong lower beak at our feeder today. He seems to be eating OK. His plumage is almost fully adult and his beak is orange, but the bottom sticks out about an inch below his upper.

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