Bald Birds? Molting: Out With the Old, In With the New (Feathers)
Funny Looking Birds?
No, it's not your glasses. Yes, that bird might be bald.
Not every bird has a bald spot while molting like the Blue Jay pictured above on our Dinner Bell feeder. Some, like the Goldfinch shown on our Fundamental Squirrel Proof Feeder, just have new feathers coming in as they loose their old worn ones.
Molting – Out With the Old, In With the New (Feathers)
Just as people make seasonal wardrobe changes, many birds are beginning a transformation of their own, losing and replacing their feathers in a process known as molting.
Molting is when a bird replaces some (partial molt) or all (full molt) of its feathers.
This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete. Molting is so physically demanding for most ducks and geese that they can’t fly and will molt in seclusion to avoid predators.
Molting season varies by species and time of year.
Distinguishing birds that are molting from those that are not can be difficult. Though some birds may lose patches of feathers and appear “balding,” most birds’ feather loss and replacement are far less noticeable.
Feathers are made of more than 90% protein, primarily keratins, so every molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation.
For the next few months, offer high-protein bird foods, such as Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them with molting.
Visit us soon for all of the high-protein foods that will meet your birds’ needs.
We have everything you need to help your birds keep going (and re-growing feathers) during this critical time.