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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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For Eastern Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows, and Dickcissels, as the focal grassland songbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds, their brood parasite, we estimated densities separately by species.
The first thing you should know about Keriann Dubina is that she likes brown-headed cowbirds. In fact, she's a local authority on the species most birders love to hate.
These policies interrupted the natural regeneration of warbler habitat and, in tandem with an influx of parasitic cowbirds, caused the decline of the songbird's population.
"If we were to stop the habitat management program, and likewise if we stopped cowbird control, those threats would immediately start impacting the survival of the species," says Mensing.
However, as a habitat generalist, relatively free from cowbird parasitism and with apparent flexibility in timing of their breeding season, their enigmatic population declines were not explained by this study and would require investigations of potential causes of population declines within their wintering grounds or along migratory routes (Bemis and Rising, 1999).
Female visual displays affect the development of male song in the cowbird. Nature, 334, 244-246.
This month's cover image, [1] Plate 99 from Birds of America (printed in stages during 1827-1838) by American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon (1785-1851), shows a pair of oft-vilified brown-headed cowbirds. This painting appears in the book as one of 435 life-sized watercolors that were reproduced from Audubon's hand-engraved plates.
Table 1 Sound registers of birds to identify and of reference; 8 to identify, 5 of refer Species Number of files Bogota Moorhen 17 Swamp wren 30 Silvery/Throated spinetail 22 Bogota Nunbird 35 Common wren 32 Tropical Kingbird 25 Hummingbird 31 Yellow break moorhen 12 Red Beak Moorhen 12 Blackbird 13 Shiny cowbird 24 Rufous/collared sparrow 18 Total 300 Table 2.
A previous suggestion of a brood parasite's benefit, reported nearly 50 years ago from giant cowbirds parasitizing oropendola nests in Panama, hasn't stood up to later research, says cuckoo researcher Juan Soler of the Arid Zones Experimental Station in Spain.
Key words: Nebraska Natural Legacy Project, Biologically Unique Landscape, Conservation Priority, Grassland Species, Brownheaded Cowbird, Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, Meadowlark is a community of passionate storytellers, Sty- is a network for sharing and discovering fash- ion items and is a network of people who are into...knitting.
For example, 1000memories is a service with an accompanying iPhone app called ShoeBox that helps users organize and share photos; Pinboard is an ad-free way to manage bookmarks, tweets, and other text, with privacy controls and daily backups; and Cowbird is a community of storytellers and a platform for creating audiovisual diaries.