Aug 22 2010
No, he’s molting.
This week has been notable for the number of bald blue jays hanging out in my neighborhood. The first one gave me a shock but now there are three and I’m getting used to it.
Many birds are molting now but most of them lose a few feathers at a time so it’s not noticeable. The exceptions – usually blue jays and cardinals – really stand out.
They’re not unique to Pittsburgh. This bird was photographed by Nancy Castillo who writes The Zen Birdfeeder in Saratoga Springs, NY.
So why am I seeing three blue jays with bald heads? At this time of year blue jays hang out in family groups so I might be observing a family with an inherited trait for temporary baldness.
Frankly I can’t wait until they’ve grown their new head feathers. I’m embarrassed for them but it’s nothing a little time won’t heal.
(photo by Nancy Castillo. Click on the photo to see her blog about this bird.)