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Posts tagged ‘Brown Headed Cow Birds’

Brown-Headed Cow Birds

The Brown-Headed Cow Birds love the bird feeder that I have set up next to my front porch.  I think there may not be many bird feeders here in the area.  This feeder is very popular!  There also is a White-Breasted Nuthatch in a couple of these pictures, shown eating with the Cow Bird on the feeder.  Cow Birds love being around cattle.  I live across the little farm pond from a large cow pasture, so the Brown-Headed Cow Birds likely live over there.  Brown-Headed Cow Birds are seed, fruit, and nut eating birds.  They have wedge-shaped beaks.  The male has a lovely light chocolate-brown head and a dark brown-black body.  The female is the same shape and size but is a medium-brown in color all over.

The Brown-Headed Cow Birds lay their eggs in other birds’ nests.  The mother bird feeds the usually larger cow bird chicks more food than even her own young.  Sometimes this happily works out OK.  I hope so for the nesting pairs of songbirds in my yard here.  Surprisingly, the same thing happens with certain of the ducks such as the Red-Headed Duck.  One hopes for the best.  I took these pictures on April 21, 2012 and again on April 24, 2012 in my living room and yard.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

The Brown-headed Cow Birds Have Arrived

Brown-headed Cow Birds have returned to my neighborhood after being elsewhere for the winter.  These birds are beautiful, especially the males.  The males have a lovely coffee-brown head with a dark brown body.  The females are more of an all-over medium brown color.  These birds eat insects and seeds.  The Brown-headed Cow Birds are unpopular due to the fact that they take over the nests of other smaller songbirds and lay eggs in the middle of a clutch of another species’ eggs.  What happens is that the foster mom has to raise a Brown-headed Cow Bird that is a lot larger than the rest of the chicks.  Sometimes the other chicks don’t survive as they get less food and have less room in the over-crowded nest.  Brown-headed Cow Birds most often live where there are cow pastures.  There is a farm or small cattle ranch about a mile from our home here.  The small group or mini-flock of Brown-headed Cow Birds that were in my yard here yesterday were only about seven or so birds, with two being males.  It was interesting to see these birds here.  They were here also off and on last Spring and Summer.  I think that they mostly live around that farm or ranch, which is about a mile away.   I took these pictures on March 23, 2011 from my window.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

The Brown-Headed Cow Bird

The other day I noticed a new bird in my yard.  I watched this bird and its mate in the Black Walnut tree and then the male alone on the corner of my roof.  I took a couple of pictures.  I believe this may be a Brown-headed Cow Bird but I am not totally sure.  The male Brown-Headed Cow Bird has a chestnut brown head and blackish brown body feathers.  The male was very beautiful and the female was a duller version with a rather grey-brown color overall.  From what I have read about these Cow Birds, they do not build their own nest but rather lay eggs in another bird’s nest.  They are considered to be somewhat parasitical in this regard.  Other birds raise the Cow Bird’s young.  The Brown-Headed Cow Birds live in areas near cow pastures.  That is one of the reasons why these birds have their name.  I live about a mile from a cattle ranch so perhaps that is why these birds have decided to visit my yard.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Likely a Female Brown-Headed Cow Bird


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