Brown-headed Cowbird
Molothrus ater

Female, March 18, 2008

Male, March 30, 2008

Photos courtesy Pete Williams, Florida
Copyright (c) 2008 Pete Williams

Identification: National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Page 440. The brown head of the male contrasts with the metallic green-black body. The female is gray-brown above, paler below. The juvenile is paler above and more heavily streaked below. The pale edgings give its back a scaled look. Young males molting to adult plumage in late summer are a patchwork of buff, brown and black. Its preferred habitat is woodlands, farmlands, and suburbs. It feeds with tail cocked upward. All cowbirds lay their eggs in nests of other species.

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