Sunday, August 24, 2008

Very disturbing!

While I was taking the hummingbird photos today, I noticed a strange looking bird. After a better look, I saw this very disturbing sight. Look if you dare...

It appears to be a cardinal with a bald head! Yikes!!! I was afraid he might have some weird bird disease, but a quick search turned up this bit of information:

'For most birds, molting is a process where a few feathers are lost and replaced at a time—the bird looks a little scruffy, but it always has a covering of feathers. In some species, however, particularly Blue Jays, cardinals, and possibly grackles, a few individuals seem to lose all the feathers on their heads at once, resulting in a very odd looking bird.

When birds become bald this way, it’s temporary: new feathers soon grow and the bird looks normal once more. Some bird experts believe this is a rare (and insignificant), molting pattern seen in particular individuals year after year. Others wonder if the phenomenon is caused by a health problem.'

This bird has made me realize that if vultures had feathers on their head, they would probably be considered beautiful birds. He acted normal enough, I hope he gets his feathers back soon. He needs a name. Any suggestions? I'm thinking 'Igor' or 'Rogaine...'

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