Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ugly bird!

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about seeing a bald cardinal and sent me a link about them from the internet.  Apparently it's not uncommon.  There were several photos and descriptions and people guessing why the bird was bald.  The two suggested reasons were 1) molting; and 2) lice, the latter of which seems to be the most likely.  The reason for the feathers being missing only on the head is that birds can preen their feathers on the rest of their body to clean out the lice, but not the head.  Hmmmm.  Whatever. 

Only a few days after I heard about this, I noticed a strange looking bird at my feeders and jumped up from my chair for a closer look.  And guess what it was?  It was a female cardinal with an ugly bald head.  It took me about a month to get a decent picture.  I do believe this is the shyest bird in the neighborhood... and rightly so :)  Poor thing.  Don't look at the photo closely if you have a weak stomach.


  1. Hi Joyce,

    I love all these photos of the wildlife goings on from your back yard. That bald bird is a sad looking little thing! It is almost looking like a vulture.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You always leave such nice thoughtful ones.

    Hope you Saturday is a good one!

  2. Poor baby..... she looks burnt....thanks for such interesting things that you write about...great shot of her though.

  3. OMG....this is the strangest and somehow the funniest thing i have seen in a very long time.....

    we have thousands of birds at our cottage and i have never seen such a thing.....but now i want to :)