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Old Aug 16, 2008, 7:56 PM   #1
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Found this guy at the feeder this Summer...



Jay
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 8:22 PM   #2
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Half cardinal... half vulture? :lol:
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 8:45 PM   #3
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Hi Jay,

I've seen this before, but can't remember the technical name for the condition. It seems to be most common with Cardinals. I think that you've captured a prime example of the condition, though, with the head very bald and the rest of the body being very full feathered.

I believe that this is pretty much normal late summer molting, and for some reason, cardinals (I've also heard of bald Grackles and Bluejays) are the ones most often sighted -- probably because they're so brightly colored and visible.

It's pretty interesting to be able to see it's earhole -- a lot larger than I would have expected. I wonder if Cardinals have a better sense of hearing because of this?

I do, however, suspect that Michael Jordan has had a big influence on the look . . .:-)

Scott
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 8:55 PM   #4
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A MOULTING Cardinal. They do it from time to time naturally and replenish their feathers. Sometimes the mites can cause this to happen to them but almost all birds moult. Kinda like a snake shedding it's skin. Also called ecdysis. Here is a word on it...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molting

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Old Aug 16, 2008, 9:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information all. Actually this "bald" cardinal has been at the feeder all Summer which leads me to wonder if he has some genetic mutation that has caused this condition vs. a temporary moulting?

I like RedStickMan's description of "half vulture-half cardinal"!!

Jay
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