Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WBW-XX Lazy Bums!

IS it me or is time speeding up? Wasn't it yesterday that I was posting to World Bird Wednesday?

... for this week I'm going to feature this bird...I know many of you have these around your yards this time of year and they are not exactly welcomed guests!! They arrived here this week for the breeding season.


molothrus ater (Brown Headed Cowbird-male)
The brown headed cowbird is a beautiful bird but since its known to lay its eggs in the nests of other birds they are NOT well liked....they lay and fly away...leaving the naive surrogate parents with all the responsibility of raising their chicks! Sometimes a large cowbird chick will starve off a smaller chick which should be getting fed by the overworked parents by gobbling up every worm that's brought back from the hunt!!!

females are a lighter dull brown
I don't know which birds they predate here but I have seen them here every single year so I know they must be successful!! They arrive along with the purple martins in smaller numbers than in the past and that seems to be the trend across the board these days--I recall huge numbers such as 20 in a flock in times past--today I counted roughly 8 --

and the females have a slight mottled striping on the chest

The males have a rich coffee brown head and a oily black body like a blackbird

WISH I could catch a photo of them as they sometimes ride on the back of the horses or cows catching flies right off the cows back--- and they will stay right next to the feet of the grazing animals eating the bugs that land on the legs of the cows or horses-- so far I've only been lucky to get them in the trees waiting for a turn at the bird bath--

I enjoy the bubbly call they have--once you've heard it you are not likely to forget it! Similar to a Redwing Blackbird
On a personal note: Im leaving in the morning [Not on a Jet Plane] but in my car and Indie the dog is joining me...She has been our guest for almost 2 weeks--but now its time for her to go home...So we will drive 157 miles northwest to my sister's home and I will stay one night --at least that is the plan up to now. I decided to drive up because it soon will be too hot to hike and I really want to get in one more waterfall hike in the mountains this spring --if the weather holds out--Im on laptop battery right now because a strong overnight storm Killed out Power--IT was a DILLY too--light show and high winds...Hope you see a great bird yourself this week and you can share it on Wild Bird Wednesday...click this link to see others and share yours its easy and educational!!! HEY I know most people think birders are all like Miss Jayne Hathaway of the long ago TV show -Beverly Hillbillies- but its NOT TRUE--LOL---birding is soooo easy anyone can participate and the joy of watching birds can bring you more in line with Mother Nature as a whole--            

ANYWAYS

Enjoy-
CLICK THIS PICTURE!



PEACE

29 comments:

  1. Good close ups and take care driving!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  2. i love these birds too but try to forget about their nest-grabbing ways.

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  3. Interesting similarity to our migrant Cuckoo that also parasitises small passarines but I understand the Cowbird egg is not camouflaged to fool the host.

    Have a safe trip Sondra.

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  4. I like these fellows :)
    At least from the photos :D
    Safe travels to you and have some fun up there!

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  5. Ha you had me thinking it was Wednesday for a minute and I was very confused! Love these photos. Have a safe trip!

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  6. I'm a bit behind so will comment on last two entries. You have birds and plants not here in WA! Spring is barely here, with only a few early bloomers showing up. Upper 30's today. I'm seriously impressed on those car repairs. Looking forward to the photos you will take of waterfalls. Have a safe trip.

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  7. HI Sondra.. Had a female a Cowbird at the feeder this morning! They and Red Winged blackbirds have been arriving!!
    Are they lazy or smart?? lol
    Liked your post, photos, and humour!!
    Have as safe trip!!!

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  8. Great photos. Of course we don't have those birds here in Australia but we have several species that use the same methods to raise their young.

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  9. I usually see the cowbirds but I haven't as of yet. I like the way their head glistens in the sun. I guess I've been lucky and not had many at one time.
    I didn't know about them laying eggs in other bird nests - naughty. :)
    Nice shots!
    Safe travels!

    Carletta@Round The Bend

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  10. Lovely sharp images of a beautiful bird.

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  11. I love these images, and these birds:)

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  12. Nice photos take care in the mountains.

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  13. Great shots of the Cowbirds. I have seen a few lately too. I was hoping they wouldn't hang around. Have a safe trip!

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  14. For some reason the thought of fooling someone else into sit on your egg sounds pretty funny. I know it doesn't translate well into human ethics but still...pretty clever adaptation!

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  15. Nice series of images and information to go with it! I learned about cowbirds a couple of years ago after excitedly sharing that I'd seen them for the first time in my garden. It was disappointing to learn about their evil ways. Now I see them every year on their way north or south. Thanks for stopping by my raptor.

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  16. You are funny talking about birders == (I have had friends who have looked at me strangely when I "confessed" to enjoying this hobby.) The week did go by fast; I didn't do any birding this week and didn't have time to do a post with an old picture.

    Hope you have a safe trip and a great waterfall hike and take some pictures to share ;>).

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  17. I'm sure the cows and horses appreciate the cowbird but I doubt the other birds would if they knew how they were taken advantage of.

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  18. Oh, those dreaded pests. They have not arrived here yet, but in a couple of weeks they will.

    Great pictures and post.

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  19. Their parasitism insured the survival of the Cowbird species as they followed herds of bison across the prairie. Excellent post and great shots of this interesting bird!

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  20. Nice photo but not a nice bird! I have seen a little song sparrow trying to feed a gigantic cowbird youngster - pitiful! I read, female cowbirds wander widely and can lay up to 40 eggs.

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  21. I have had a few Cowbirds show-up recently. Sure wish they would go back to the prairie where the Buffalo "use" to roam. They would follow the herds. It would be very cool to capture one on a cow.
    Nice captures of the male and female!

    Have a safe trip and come back with more pictures!

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  22. they are such interesting birds -- nice informative post. And I agree that time seems to fly between WBWs!

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  23. Nice post. I'm yet to see one of them in another bird's nest.

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  24. Love the shots. Have a great trip.

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  25. Last summer I had a cowbird with its grasshopper sparrow parents hopping around my campsite. The "baby" was way bigger, but even imitated their cheeps. Have you watched the bald eagle cam in Decorah, IA? They had to get a better server there are so many people watching. Chick 3 is coming out.

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  26. My son got a picture a few years ago of a baby cowbird being fed by a much smaller "parent." It was hysterical! Have a safe trip.

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  27. So now I know why they are called Cowbirds.

    I had no idea there was another bird that lays its eggs in other birds nests, our Summer visiting Cuckoo does that. It particularly favours the Dunnock's nest which is a tiny bird in comparison. Consequently the baby Cuckoos are much bigger than its new parents, it's a wonder baby doesn't swallow mum when being fed!! ;)

    Drive safely Sondra!

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