THE BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD
At our May meeting, member Paulette Heward shared a story about a cowbird who laid an egg in her bluebird house.
Cowbirds earned their common name from the habit of following herds of buffalo and cattle in search of the insects stirred up by the grazing mammals. Since their food source is always roaming, cowbirds have no time to build a nest so they lay their eggs in the nests of other songbirds. In the spring, the female cowbird will spend her day sitting in a tree watching for other birds to pass by with nesting material. When the cowbird spots a nest-builder, she will secretly move in. Although the cowbird is considered a parasite, she won't lay her first egg until the host bird has laid its egg first. Once the cowbird has laid a single egg in the nest, her job is done. She will then move on in search of a new nest to lay another egg. A cowbird can lay up to forty eggs in many different nests in one season.
For more information on cowbirds, click the link below.
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