A Cowbird Love Story

I don’t have any cows, but I do have a pair of brown-headed cowbirds – here’s the story of how they met…

I've been looking to settle down, I just need to find that special guy...

I’ve been looking to settle down, I just need to find that special guy…

There's a perch up there that looks promising - lots of action at that bar...

There’s a perch up there that looks promising – lots of action at that bar…

I'll just take a seat here at the bar - do these feathers make my butt look fat?

I’ll just take a seat here at the bar – do these feathers make my butt look big?

What's that racket up there?

What’s that racket up there?

Panic

Ooooo – he’s cute!

Hey there, handsome....

Hey there, handsome….

And we lived happily ever after...

And we lived happily ever after…

I have been told that cowbirds sneak their eggs into the nests of unsuspecting birds and move on, leaving the rearing of their young to strangers. So the story goes something like this…

Two young cowbirds fall in love, abandon their children to the foster care system, and fly off into the sunset partying and following cows until it’s time to do the whole thing again next year.

44 thoughts on “A Cowbird Love Story

  1. Pingback: Cowbird Dance-off | the eff stop

  2. Pingback: A Cowbird Love Story | Ta hendene til din kjære – se på dem og hold dem hardt Disse hendene skal du følge, leie og lede. Du skal få føle på varmen fra dem og kjenne en inderlig glede. De skal stryke deg og de skal holde rundt deg – de er ikke sk

  3. 🙂 Oh those cowbirds are tramps, aren’t they 😉 Loved this. BTW, I was walking through the park the other evening, and noticed 5 different types of birds. Not that I knew what they were (except for the robins) which I can now identify, but still. I’m certain is totally because of you and your photos that I even notice now, so thank you 🙂

    • Awwww – well I try to do my part 🙂 I am amazed at the variety, even in my small neck of the woods. Those cowbirds have been fascinating – turns out there are three makes pursuing that female. They have been dancing and singing for her for the last two days and she is not impressed. I guess she’s playing hard to get…

  4. I have a pair that have come back each spring and hung out in my lilac bush for 3 years now. I assume it’s the same ones. Anyway, one of the coolest things about cowbirds is they are also like mocking birds, and copy many different bird calls. I thought I was going crazy hearing 10 different bird calls coming from the same bush!

  5. I think we have some of these birds about in the summer as well. Your post prompted a little Wikipedia action – I’d never heard of “parasitic brood” behavior before. Sometimes finding out more information is like discovering a favorite actress has had loads of plastic surgery – you just never look at them the same way again!

  6. Love the photos and the story. I’ve never heard of cowbirds, but they make a very nice couple. The female looks sort of like our House Sparrow.

  7. And they expect government funding in the process, no doubt! (Oh, and the cowbird chicks often eat those of the foster parents. They are not nice guests.)

    Great pictures!

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