Day 234: Brown-headed Cowbird

“The Brown-headed Cowbird is a stocky blackbird with a fascinating approach to raising its young. Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods. Male Brown-headed Cowbirds have glossy black plumage and a rich brown head that often looks black in poor lighting or at distance. Female Brown-headed Cowbirds are plain brown birds, lightest on the head and underparts, with fine streaking on the belly and a dark eye.” To read more click here

10 thoughts on “Day 234: Brown-headed Cowbird

  1. Hi Jackie. Another informative and fascinating post. Do you know if this bird is related to the European Cuckoo which uses the same ‘trick’. The cuckoo young are much bigger than their host siblings and they literally kick them out of the nest, leaving them alone to be fed by the adoptive parents. And those parents don’t seem to notice that the young bird grows to twice their size !

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.