Bird owners: should I be worried about my conure's bald spot?

OK, here’s the gist of it: I have a 4 year-old Sunday Conure (creatively named "Sunny) She’s currently molting. Like most conures, Sunny LOVES her regular baths (I spray her with a mister and then she goes and splashes around in her in-cage tub). Last week, I noticed a small “bald spot” on the top of her head. I looked things up on the internet and saw that bald spots on the head can indicate Feather and Beak Disease, which is viral and as of yet, incurable. So of course I’m freaking out, not unlike the time I had a bruised rib and looked up the symptoms and was convinced that I was experiencing liver and kidney failure simultaneously.

Sunny’s behavior hasn’t changed appreciably; she’s a little touchy, but that always is the case when she’s molting. Unfortunately, I can’t get her to a vet to have a look at her until next week. But today, after taking her out of her cage, feeding her, playing with her, and giving her a bath, I noticed some things for the first time:

I put a natural branch in her cage as a perch, and after her bath she was rubbing the top of her head on a little nub that was sticking up from the branch. I checked it out, and the nub had a pretty sharp edge to it. I turned the branch around so the nub was pointing downward as a fix until I find a better, non-nubbed branch for her. I also noticed that Sunny has 5 or 6 small pin feathers coming in at the bald spot as well. Sooo… the following questions come to mind:

  1. Do the bald spots from Feather and Beak Disease occur with or without head-rubbing?

  2. Does the presence of the new pin feathers most likely rule out a pathogenic cause of the bald spot?

I believe Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease is rare in conures. Have you or Sunny had any contact with sick birds lately? It’s a scary virus, but it doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere.

You’re doing the right thing by seeing your vet, but given what you’ve said, I wouldn’t be too stressed.

Cite: I’ve worked in parrot rescue, including PBFD+ birds, and with Eclectus and cockatoos at a zoo.

Moderator Action

While the first question may be factual, the second question and the overall post are mostly seeking veterinary medical opinions. As such, this belongs in IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

The head-rubbing may be to assist in opening the pins.