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Nests? We don’t need no stinking nests

Roadtirement

It’s really neat to see a breeding pair of birds together. Yesterday we saw a pair of Cowbirds. There is a very interesting way that Cowbirds “raise” their young.

Male on the left, female on the right

The Brown-headed Cowbird is known as a “Brood Parasite” The Brown-headed Cowbirds do not make nests. Females put all energy into egg production, up to 3 dozen a season. Yes, you guessed it, the females lay their eggs in other birds nests. The eggs hatch before the host nest eggs do, giving the Cowbird young a head start. Some birds recognize these imposters and pitch the trespassers out of their nests. Some people consider Cowbirds a nuisance bird, as they are responsible for the destruction many songbird eggs.

Having spotted this pair, we can now surmise that somewhere nearby another unsuspecting bird family is wondering why that one chick is so much…

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