Man…. these birds….

Last year i remember being so excited that i had one in my yard. But man oh man this year…. Im pretty sure there is a flock of at least tewnty around here, and sometimes they all come to the yard at once. I see them everyday. Many more males, pictured above, than females, pictured below:


They totally took over my platform feeder at one point, and i had to shut it down for a day. I havent seen the entire giant flock of them in the yard since, but they are definately still here.

Also, i think the noises they make are wonderful. The glug-glug-glee call is my favorite. Very nice.

They are hardly even afraid of me at this point either. i fill the feeders, and they will fly up about two feet, and just wait til i am done and come right back down. They are kind of a nuisance, but very entertaining. Especially with the little dance they do, when competing for space, or maybe dominance of the feeding area. super cool birds.


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. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods.

  • Size & Shape

    Brown-headed Cowbirds are smallish blackbirds, with a shorter tail and thicker head than most other blackbirds. The bill has a distinctive shape: it’s much shorter and thicker-based than other blackbirds’, almost finch-like at first glance. In flight, look for the shorter tail.

  • Color Pattern

    Male Brown-headed Cowbirds have glossy black plumage and a rich brown head that often looks black in poor lighting or at distance. Female Brown-headed Cowbirds are plain brown birds, lightest on the head and underparts, with fine streaking on the belly and a dark eye.

  • Behavior

    Brown-headed Cowbirds feed on the ground in mixed-species groups of blackbirds and starlings. Males gather on lawns to strut and display for mates. Females prowl woodlands and edges in search of nests. Brown-headed Cowbirds are noisy, making a multitude of clicks, whistles and chatter-like calls in addition to a flowing, gurgling song.

  • Habitat

    You’ll find Brown-headed Cowbirds in many open habitats, such as fields, pastures, meadows, forest edges, and lawns. When not displaying or feeding on the ground, they often perch high on prominent tree branches.

  • Voice:


  • The mating dance: