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BALD CARDINAL

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Thornius on June 13, 2006 04:56 PM
A topic of interest among birders in the past few years is bald birds, especially Northern Cardinals. Each year at this time Many Cardinals go completely bald for some reason. Usually it's the female that goes bald. In the last two years I have seen and/or photographed three bald Cardinals, Today I had a Bald MALE Cardinal show up at my feeders. Here ae a couple of pictures of him.

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.
by patches1414 on June 13, 2006 08:59 PM
Geesh, we get a lot of Cardinals around here, but I'm never seen a bald cardinal, except for one that was retired from the St. Louis Cardinals! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] Sorry, I couldn't resist that one! [Wink] Is this something that has been happening recently or are they just now talking about it? [dunno] Do they know what causes it? [dunno]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by Wrennie on June 14, 2006 12:38 AM
Here I have 2 pair of cardinals. My last house I had 9 pair. Never saw a bald one at either location. [Frown]
Here in the past few years I have had a load of blue jays. A bunch of them have shown up bald. I don't see many jays yet this year, but sometimes they show after the babies fledge. Or maybe my kingbirds have muscled them out.

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by Mrs.Spud on June 14, 2006 06:38 AM
maybe they tired of the mohawk look and are trying a new trend

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by Thornius on June 14, 2006 10:33 AM
People started noticing bald birds about 5 years ago and the interest has spread quickly throughout the birding world. We think the cause is mite infestation and as far as I know and have seen ALL the birds afflicted with this condition recover completely and regain ALL their head feathers at their next molting.

Wrennie, this baldness is also very common among Blue Jays as well as Northern Cardinals. I have not personally seen a bald Blue Jay, YET, but have seen several pictures of them. One of MY theories is that it has something to do with birds that have a head crest like Blue Jays, or Northern Cardinals. I will have to do some research into Tufted Titmouses, Waxwings, and Kingfishers and perhaps Pileated Woodpeckers.

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.
by Thornius on June 14, 2006 10:51 AM
NEWS FLASH!!!

Just did some research on bald birds. It appears that it is the beginning phase of the Summer molt. Birds replace all of their feathers in warm weather so they won't freeze to death and do so gradually, starting at the head. They usually replace a couple of feathers at a time so it is not noticeable, except in the case of NORTHERN CARDINALS and BLUE JAYS, which LOSE AND REPLACE ALL THEIR HEAD FEATHERS AT ONCE!!!
Here is the article I came across:

Bald Birds

This explains much. Now I don't have to worry about an avian Hannibal Lechter roaming my neighborhood.

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.
by porter57 on June 14, 2006 11:14 AM
funny... i saw a bald blue jay just the other day
not an hour or two after commenting to my nieghbor that i hadnt seen any blue jays at all this year. was on the front porch and heard a strange sqauwking coming up and lo and behold,old baldy landed in my fir tree.
what a racket it was making!!
by Squirrel on June 14, 2006 01:44 PM
Never saw a bald bird, ever. [dunno] But great pix and article. Thanks for sharing!! I sware I learn someting new at this site everyday. [clappy] [Smile] Sue

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What goes around comes around, so be nice!lol
by patches1414 on June 14, 2006 07:11 PM
Thanks Thornius! [kissies] I thought that was a very intersting and informative article!
[thumb]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"

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