Erie, Pennsylvania

I Have a Bald Cardinal at My Feeders - Is Something Wrong?

In fall, we receive many inquiries about bald birds, especially Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays. In late summer and fall, when a bird molts, it usually grows and replaces all its feathers gradually, but occasionally a bird loses all the feathers on its head at once. The result is a very strange looking bald bird!  Don’t worry--usually the feathers grow back just fine.

The baldness can be caused by environmental or nutritional factors, feather mites, or lice, but usually it is just the result of that individual bird's molt pattern.  To read more and take a look at photos of other bald birds, visit the “Bald Birds” page on the Project FeederWatch web site.