Brown-headed cowbirds


This is the first time I have photographed a male and female brown-headed cowbird together. I was surprised when I saw them. Teresa and I were setting in the parking lot at the Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary and I caught a glimpse of the male as he flew to this tree. When I focused in with my camera, I caught this view.

A herd of Brown-headed cowbirds

A herd of Brown-headed cowbirds

I am not suggesting this birds is rare, it’s just the 1st time I have photographed a pair. I have several photos of a herd of cowbirds, but never a male and female together. (Yes, a group of cowbirds is called a herd). 

The cowbird is a brood parasite. They drop their eggs in the nest of other birds. “The cowbird eggs typically hatch earlier than their host’s eggs which gives them a competitive advantage over the other hatchlings. Some of the birds they parasitize remove the eggs from their nests or cover them with new nest material so that they are not incubated.” Amazing. (Reference to the iBird Pro Guide to Birds app)

~ Rick

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©2018 Rick Cartwright