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Aug 18, 2011

Blue Jay buzz cut?

Photo by BarrytheBirder
This poor Blue Jay has an avian form of 'a bad hair day'.   Actually it is more likely to be one of the following: a molt, bird mites, mange infection, malnutrition or an unidentified disease.   My guess is a mid-to-late summer molt that some Northern Cardinals, Common Grackles and Blue Jays, in particular, undergo.   Some of these molts are abnormal in that they occur all at once, leaving birds looking scalped, if you will.   This total molt only occurs on the head and feather regrowth is fairly quick.   So far, this is only one I have seen this summer.   The black hole seen behind the eye, pictured above, is the bird's ear.   Basically the same as a human ear, it only lacks the outer, shaped part of the ear that we have.   Inside the bird's head, the ear parts are somewhat similar to ours. 
Please comment if you wish.
BtheB  

5 comments:

Bigwom said...

That is so very sad looking!

outwalkingthedog said...

Very peculiar. That scrawny neck gives you a reminder of how much of a bird's appearance is just feathers.A question: does the bare skin of a bird show pigmentation that corresponds to feather color at all? I saw a hairless cat (frightening creature, let me tell you) and the skin was pigmented as its fur might have been with dark patches on a light base.

Barry Wallace said...

Dear 'Outwalking..."
What an interesting observation. It certainly appears in my photo that there is definitely a blue cast to this bluejay's skin.
Regards, BtheB

Jane C. said...

I think this is what we always call a bald-headed baby blue jay. When they go through their first moult they look like this, as the head feathers tend to be the last to grow back.

effie kadoglou said...

poor bird.he will overcome this falling of the feathers i hope.and yes Barry all animals are about the same,even fishes...when i say this i mean some main characteristics.of course we are different but the pattern is the same.all good in Canada?Irene hurricane is weak now it comes to you i heard.what was that in NY city ? many suffered from it.rather all people there.