Brown-headed Cowbird

by Camellia Staab May. 28, 2021 585 views

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.

(source)

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Tom Snider 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Great pictures.  I recently saw a cowbird foraging.  The sunlight was hitting it such that its head was a bright golden color.  It was beautiful in that moment.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Tom Snider 4 months, 3 weeks ago

They have a hidden beauty, that's for sure.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Durham 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Such beautifully crisp images.  85mm lens that reaches 700mm? Do tell.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to John Durham 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Sir, I am a magician didn't you know? Some people also call me a witch, occasionally, accidently spelling it with a b grinning .

The exif is wrong. I have a TC attached to the camera, which messes with the lens type. I shot these with a 200-500mm lens + the TC= 700mm

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Durham Replied to Camellia Staab 4 months, 3 weeks ago

You ARE a magician - and a good witch, if one at all. I'm thinking of getting a TC for my 55-200, but have hesitated so far. Always wonder if it's worth it, but in your case, the lens behind it is obviously very, very good.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to John Durham 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It took me a while to make the decision. Since I have two bodies (camera) I wanted one that would go along with both and some of my lenses. Not all lenses in the Nikon series are capable of handling the TC.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Durham Replied to Camellia Staab 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I know - unfortunately my 55-200 is one that won't accept a TC. Sigh.

4 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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