cowbird

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Related to Molothrus: Cowbirds

cowbird,

New World bird of the blackbird and oriole (hangnest) family. The male eastern, or common, cowbird is glossy black, about 8 in. (20 cm) long, with a brown head and breast; the female is gray. Most cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of smaller bird species, victimizing especially vireos, sparrows, and flycatchers. Sometimes the alien egg is ejected or buried under a new nest floor or the nest is abandoned, but usually the host bird incubates the egg and feeds the voracious intruder while its smaller offspring are starved or crowded out. Cowbirds eat seeds but feed chiefly on insects, following behind grazing cattle in order to capture the insects stirred up in this way—hence the name cowbird and the earlier name buffalo bird. Related birds are the bronzed, the California, the dwarf, the Nevada, and the red-eyed cowbirds. Cowbirds are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Icteridae.
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brown-headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater; northern cardinals, Cardinalis cardinalis; northern mockingbirds, Mimus polyglottos; cedar waxwings, Bombycilla cedorum) in addition to the aforementioned species.
Species Common Name Agelaius phoeniceus Red-winged Blackbird Baeolophus bicolor Tufted Titmouse Cardinalis cardinalis Northern Cardinal Carduelis tristis American Goldfinch Corvus brachyrhynchos American Crow Cyanocitta cristata Blue Jay Mimus polyglottos Northern Mockingbird Molothrus ater Brown-headed Cowbird Pipilo erythrophthalmus Eastern Towhee Poecile atricapilla Black-capped Chickadee Poecile carolinensis Carolina Chickadee Quiscalus quiscula Common Grackle Sialia sialis Eastern Bluebird Sitta carolinensis White-breasted Nuthatch Sturnus vulgaris European Starling Thryothorus ludovicianus Carolina Wren Turdus migratorius American Robin Species Bluebell Bohm Sweet William Agelaius phoeniceus 0.
spurius (Linnaeus), orchard I O oriole Molothrus ater (Boddaert), I A brown-headed cowbird Quiscalus mexicanus (Gmelin), I R great-tailed grackle Q.
7) R phoeniceus Quiscalus Great-tailed Grackle mexicanus Mololhrus aeneus Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus ater Brown-headed Cowbird Icterus spurius Orchard Oriole 4 5(2.