Is it true?
Is the bird some freak of nature?
What could possibly make a beautiful female Northern Cardinal go from this
There are two possible answers: one is the birds' twice-yearly molt, which sometimes causes all of their headfeathers to fall out all at once. The other possible cause is mites - as the bird itches and itches to get the mites off, its claws catch the feathers and before long, any mite-affected area is bald.