Sunday, March 10, 2013

crest-less cardinal

We have seen a male cardinal in our yard that has no crest feathers, no bright red triangle on top of his head. Sometimes this baldness is due to an unusual molt.  For two reasons, I think our friend has some kind of mite:  because I saw him this way in the autumn, and also because I see some squirrels in the yard with bald fur patches.  This bird could probably preen and catch the mites on his other feathers, but getting them off his head must be difficult.  Or the scratching to get them has caused some feather loss.
Imagine this cardinal with his new crest feathers!
He seemed undiminished in his flight and song, and since he is around again this spring, let us think of him as a resplendent red cardinal going through a minor patch of misfortune.

This photo is by Greg Dodge, from a fine blogsite which you can reach here:

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