Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Does It Moo?

My granddaughter loves to birdwatch in my yard with me. When I spotted this guy, I was really excited. I told her that it's a Cowbird, not one that I normally see in the yard. She said "Why are you so excited gramma, does it MOO?"
 


Brown-headed Cowbird (Male)
 
The Brown-headed Cowbird is a stocky blackbird with a fascinating approach to raising its young. Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. Then they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents.  Many people consider them a nuisance bird, since they often destroy the eggs and young of smaller songbirds.

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39 comments:

  1. I just love those wonderfully innocent questions!
    These photographs are really wonderful, Karen.

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  2. i think these birds are so handsome (and obviously crafty). your granddaughter's comment made me laugh!

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  3. Thank-you for the laughter and the info:) We had a cowbird at our feeder too!

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  4. Oh, a great laugh to start the day indeed, Karen, I love your granddaughter's comment, too!! A really beautiful bird and your captures are superb as always! Hope you have a good day!!

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  5. Does it moo? how adorable. I have to admit I have never seen one of these birds but love the coloring

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  6. Awww, what cute comments about the cowbird! These photos prove it - cowbirds are beautiful. Great captures! -Tammy

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  7. Your granddaughter's question is priceless!

    Cowbirds are handsome, but they are classed as parasites. Every one you see represents an entire brood of nestlings of some other bird it has killed.

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  8. A handsome guy to be sure... I do hate to see some chipping sparrow feeding a huge cowbird.. But they are doing what they know... Michelle

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  9. That would be funny if they did "moo"! Great photos! They're quite handsome despite their nesting habits.

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  10. I had no idea they were capable of laying so many eggs!

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  11. Lovely photos of this cute bird. Unusual for me to see!

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  12. lol, a good question. :) Great shots of the moo-bird. :)

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  13. Beautiful shots, cute looking bird.

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  14. Such sharp, clear, and beautifully composed images of the 'moo-er'!!

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  15. Did you hear it MOO? Great shots of the cowbird.

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  16. I have one question....Do they?:)
    Awesome shots. B

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  17. Adorable commentary from the Grand!

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  18. I did a post on this bird several weeks ago. I love the positive things you said. I'm afraid I was a bit more negative about him :( but Stewart helped me to appreciate the bird with his comments!

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  19. I rarely get them at the feeder. I know they are not popular but they are smart. I like what your granddaugher said!

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  20. What an incredible gloss to the plumage. So essentially they are cuckoos? And it obviously works for them.

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  21. that's such a funny response from a young one 'does it moo' - that would've made me laugh; beautiful photos too Karen

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  22. It would be good if it did!!

    Nice bird!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  23. Yes, they are a nuisance bird..I can't have feeders because of them. I love your granddaughter's comment...children take things so literally.

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  24. I have had similar questions posed about "Ovenbirds." Cowbirds should really have been called "buffalo-birds," but I guess settlement of North America had progressed too far by the time they got their names.

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  25. The light was hitting these just right! I like these birds, but I don't like their parasitic brooding habits. I've read that they will retaliate and destroy a nest if the "adoptive" parents throw out their eggs. Great shots, though!

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  26. Great close ups!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  27. It would be very cool if they did (moo.) :)

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  28. awesome pics of a very handsome bird!

    I love the way you captured that metallic sheen off the feathers!

    well done!
    *VBS*

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  29. Very sweet! - the bird, your photos, and your granddaughter.
    Have a nice day.

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  30. It's a beautiful bird even if it doesn't moo.

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  31. It's moments like that which will spark your granddaughter's interest in nature in the future.
    Wonderful photos of the Cowbird!

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  32. A mooing bird...not that would be a first. I can just hear your granddaughter asking you the question. How did you keep a straight face. I am smiling from ear to ear. Love the pictures. genie

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  33. Excellent shots of the cowbird, they are a very pretty bird. Too bad they get such a bad rap!

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  34. They are beautiful birds, and your photos are fantastic.

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  36. They're not very nice, but they are pretty! Tell your GD that we have catbirds here and they DO meow!

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