Friday, September 3, 2010

Camera Critters

This is one of four bald-headed Blue Jays that have been visiting this week. At first I was quite concerned. I've heard that birds molt twice a year, and there does seem to be some evidence that the feathers are growing back. Or is he part of a family of young birds who are just developing their feathers which have yet to reach the head? Much preferable to the idea that the poor things have bird mites. Can anyone out there with more knowledge about such things tell for sure by looking at this photo?

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28 comments:

  1. Here is an URL for a website about 'Bald-headed Birds' I don't know if it will help. It's a long address...
    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/
    AboutBirdsandFeeding/BaldBirds.htm
    He's very cute even without his feathers, maybe he's going for the Bruce Willis look :)

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  2. This is a classic case of mites. The Jay will fully recover. I had Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbirds suffer from this problem last summer. Boy...they sure do look weird without the head feathers.

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  3. I know birds moult after breeding and I have seen some pretty shabby looking birds on the feeders after bringing up two lots of babies.Now with their new plumage they are beautiful.So,I can not help with your question,I have not seen a bird with mites,nor have I ever seen a blue jay.

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  4. Ah poor thing. Hope he gets his feathers back.
    Lovely shot of him.

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  5. I've never seen a bald Blue Jay. I hope it's not a fashion trend! If seriously, I hope he will be OK.

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  6. I have seen a Jay look similar to that.... This is the time of year that they do look rather strange... AND--Someone posted a bald-headed Cardinal on their blog this week... Guess it's OKAY..... But they surely aren't very pretty are they???? ha

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  7. The bird does look funny with so few features on his head. Poor thing.

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  8. No idea as to why, but you did an excellent job of documenting the condition.

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  9. You certainly have a unique capture here. What a great job of photographing this so we could all discuss it and learn.

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  10. Oh, he's so sweet. I think Jean is right — looks like mites. He should be ok in a while!

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  11. I just posted a bald headed myna for my KLCC Park post. I am worried that this phenomenon is due to enviromental pollution. These birds can't be losing hair due to stress like humans.

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  12. this blue jay looks handsome even with its bald!

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  13. Hi Denise,
    He looks strange doesn't he without that plummage on top.
    While it could be mites it is that time of year that cardinals and bluejays molt and the way they lose their head feathers will give the bald head look. Blue jays only molt in late summer.
    Either way they'll be fine.
    A nice shot!

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  14. I wish I knew the answer to that. It's difficult to tell with birds sometimes if they molt early or late whether or not they are in fact molting or sick. He is a beautiful bird though and wonderful shot.

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  15. All your comments about my bald-headed Blue Jay have really helped. Thanks SO MUCH!!!!

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  16. Gorgeous capture Denise, love the blue color on his feathers!

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  17. I have balded headed bluejays, I think they are just molting. Three of the four have all their feathers back. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

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  18. Interesting photo, Denise. We have had a male cardinal two summers in a row that goes bald like this. I don't know what causes it, but it seems like if it was a result of molting, more of the population would be similarly affected. But it's only been this one bird.

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  19. Abe said he's sure it's just molting.He's had some of not only Bluejays but other birds as well.

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  20. from most of the comments it seems he's OK and that's a relief!! he sure is cute

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  21. They look pitiful but completely normal. The worst I have seen are the male cardinals. their skin is black and without any feathers they are a sight for sore eyes. I have blue jays like this one a couple of weeks ago and not pretty either.

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  22. Bizarre. Our scrub and steller's jays don't do this as far as I have seen.

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  23. I don't know anything about it, but the lack of feathers make this bird look like a young one. Interesting photo.

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  24. I raise chickens and they sometimes get mites. I don't have a clue about the blue jay. I feed the blue jays peanuts and love watching them picking them all up to see which one is the heaviest.

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  25. Yet to grow I guess.
    A face only a mother can love.

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  26. I don't believe I've ever seen a blue jay without its head feathers. Sure is a sight!

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  27. Aw, poor little guy. Whatever the reason I hope his feathers grow back.

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