Have You Ever Seen A Bald Bird?
Bald-headed birds (generally Cardinals and Bluejays) are often seen in late summer. While the rest of the bird's body looks normal, a bald head certainly raises curiosity!
The most likely explanation for the baldness is abnormal replacement of all the head feathers (molting) at the same time. Other explanations may include environmental or nutritional factors, feather mites or lice. There is also some evidence that a simultaneous molt of all the head feathers may just be a normal occurrence for a very small percentage of individual birds.
Whatever the cause, bird banding studies show that most birds recover from their period of baldness within a few weeks and that birds recaptured in succeeding years often show no re-occurrence of this unusual molting behavior.
As for the Cardinal in this photo, he regrew a full head of gorgeous red feathers and went on to dazzle all the female Cardinals in the neighborhood!