Orange and Bald, a Cardinal Oddity

Northern Cardinals are supposed to be bright red all over and have a tufted head, right? The cardinal that appeared at my feeders today apparently had neither:

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I have read about some birds molting head feathers all at once and have seen balding or bald cardinals before. But this is the first really orange cardinal I have seen. Is it a lack of pigment in its diet? Or perhaps a genetic oddity? Maybe this bird just needs a little time to adjust.

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About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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