Bronzed Cowbird

General description.

The "Bronzed Cowbird" is a striking bird, flashing purplish wings, his red eyes prominent up close, leading to his other appellation, "Red-eyed Cowbird".

Female appearance.

The female is truly 'bronze', rather than black like her mate, yet smaller and duller in all aspects.

Breeding habits.

This cowbird breeds in Arizona, New Mexico and southern Texas. During spring courtship, the male attracts his prospective mate by bowing and jumping up and down, sometimes several feet off the ground, while puffing up his "neck ruff".

Calls or song.

The "Bronzed Cowbird's" unmusical call consists of a series of squeaks and creaking notes.

Population and distribution.

Like his cousin, "The Brown-headed Cowbird", the "Bronzed Cowbird" follows livestock, snatching insects from trodden grass. They also alight on the necks of horses and cattle relieving them of ticks. The "Bronzed Cowbird" inhabits pastures, roadside thickets, ranches, parks and orchards. During colder months, they move southward in large flocks of other blackbirds.

Nesting habits.

This parasite lays one to three blue-green eggs in the nests of other species such as, blackbirds, orioles finches, flycatchers, buntings and grosbeaks. Few legitimate nestlings survive, so their foster parents feed them, doubling the cowbird's weight on the second day after hatching.

Similar birds:

Brown-headed Cowbird Photo Brown-headed Cowbird
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