At bird banding this past Sunday at Springbrook we caught the sad looking female cardinal in the picture above. A very bad hair...ahh...feather day. We often capture cardinals with some of this "baldness" in the summer months, but this poor gal has it really bad.
There is some debate over what "it" is. Some feel it is normal molting, some think a skin mite, and others think a feather mite.
All I know for sure is that she can't get much more pathetic looking. And her ears are very noticable, the opening below and behind her eye. She should have her feathers back in a few weeks and look more like her old self in the picture to the left here.