I have a bald bird at my feeders - is something wrong?
"Bald-headed birds" are often seen in late summer. Usually it is Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals or Common Grackles with a complete lack of feathers on their heads. While the rest of the bird's body looks normal, a completely bald bird certainly raises curiosity.
The most likely explanation for the baldness is an abnormal replacement of all the head feathers (molting) at the same time. Others may include environmental or nutritional factors, feather mites or lice.
There is also some anecdotal evidence that, in some cases, a simultaneous molt of all the head feathers may just be a normal occurrence for a very small percentage of individual birds.
Whatever the cause, bird banding studies show most birds recover from their period of baldness within a few weeks, and that birds recaptured in succeeding years often show no re-occurrence of this unusual molting behavior.