Friday Afternoon Bird Photo

This is a male brown-headed cowbird.

These birds have a rather interesting method of raising young. They lay eggs in the nests of other birds and then leave the eggs to hatch there and be raised by foster parents.  A single female brown cowbird may lay as many as fifteen eggs in a season in several other birds' nests.

This one was perched on top of a telephone pole in the False Cape State (Va) Park a few weeks ago.


Ray Barnes said…
The same parasitic method as the cuckoo. I've never heard of a cowbird before. (Wish I was a cartoonist, endless possibilities.).
Thanks for this one Penny.
Yes, Ray, interestingly although they have the same habit as the cuckoo, they are not related. In fact, cowbirds and their relatives only live in the "New World" as Wikipedia puts it. They are, apparently, called cowbirds because they hang around with cows. Something to do with the insects the cowbirds eat. Anyway, they want to be able to follow the cows, so that's why they don't lay eggs in their own nests. Sort of rolling stones, I guess.