Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Avian Thugs

Are these the notorious brown-headed cowbirds?... known for laying their eggs in other nests and taking off to let the poor schmuck birds raise the young cowbirds. I saw this group near the 7-11 on my way to work. Thugs always hang out at the 7-11, don't they? If you're a bird expert (I'm not), let me know if I'm right or wrong. (BTW, this is more bird-blogging for my Aunt Carol. Are you happy now?)


Dianne said...

Yes, those are Brown-headed Cowbirds and, yes, they parasitize other birds' nests and don't raise their own young.

Even more deviant is that the babies, before they can even fly, will push the other eggs or nestlings out of the nest so that they can be spoiled for sure by their unwitting parents as only children.

Hanging out at 7-Eleven seems to be the natural next step in their lives, doesn't it?

Publisher Jack said...

What a nasty bird. I wonder if Poe ever wrote a poem about them?

Carol said...

Yes Rick, it does make me happy to see birds on your blog even the infamous cowbird. I've never heard of the nestlings pushing the hosts nestlings out of the nest. However because they are quite large they manage to get fed first. Sometimes the adult cowbird, after laying an egg will come back later and remove one of the hosts eggs, and may repeat this process. Often the host bird which is usually much smaller than the cowbird will be successful in raising 1 or 2 of its young along with the cowbirds.