This is one of those birds where the male and females are easily set apart. The males have a glossy black body and a dark brown head, while females are a dull gray-brown overall.
I seem to have an abundance of males around the backyard this year. Although, chances are that the females have been around as well, but since I was not aware of the color difference prior to researching for this post, I mistook them to be sparrows.
This particular brown-headed cowbird seems to have something wrong with its beak.
Breeding in open or semi-open country across most of North America, this bird is a brood parasite: it lays its eggs in the nests of other small passerines (perching birds), particularly those that build cup-like nests, such as the Yellow Warbler. The young cowbird is fed by the host parents at the expense of their own young.
These birds forage on the ground, often following grazing animals such as horses and cows to catch insects stirred up by the larger animals. They mainly eat seeds and insects.
At one time, the Brown-headed Cowbird followed the bison herds across the prairies. Their parasitic nesting behaviour complemented this nomadic lifestyle. Their numbers expanded with the clearing of forested areas and the introduction of new grazing animals by settlers across North America. Brown-headed Cowbirds are now commonly seen at suburban birdfeeders.