Friday, September 12, 2014

Bald-Headed Blue Jay or Blue Jay Buzzard?

A Bald Blue Jay or a new species of Blue Jay Buzzard? A rare vulture look for a Blue Jay in early September and the first I've seen in the Florida backyard in many years of watching. Molting is usually a gradual process, but for some reason once in awhile all the head feathers fall off at once. It is also possible it is mites or lice , but it only affects the head. You will see in the video that the rest of this bird looks fine. There are some raw red patches on its head and it has been seen scratching at its head. This bad hair blue jay was actually quite hard to film compared to the dozen or so other jays that frequent the backyard who look normal. This one was quite skittish and generally in a bad mood. I also have squirrels with skin problems this summer - big festering sores from parasitic fly larvae - a subject for another video. Here is some reference material on abnormally "bald birds".

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Bald Headed Blue Jay