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Project FeederWatch

Photo Submission

Submitted By

Susan Krenicki

Waterford, CT, United States

Description

This unusual Northern Cardinal frequented the feeder during the month of August. It was a pitiful looking bird.

Category

Bald-headed

Bald Northern Cardinal

This Northern Cardinal had been visiting the feeder several times in August 2014.

Recent Comments (2)

  • Don says:

    This is fairly common among Cardinals when the weather gets really warm. They get some kind of mite that seems to prefer their head feathers. My guess is that they pass it to one another as their heads come in contact with feeder or tree surfaces. It only seems to thrive during the warmer part of the Summer here in Delaware. It apparently does not cause any debilitating illness and, as the weather cools, their feathers grow back. It is interesting to me in that it exposes their otherwise hidden dark skin color.

  • Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

    Hi Don and Susan, This is a common molting pattern for cardinals and jays – the birds often molt all of their head feathers at once, and re-grow those feathers shortly afterward. for more information, visit our webpage: https://feederwatch.org/learn/unusual-birds/#bald-headed-birds/

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