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Brown-headed Cowbird Pictures

Male Brown-headed Cowbird
Male Brown-headed Cowbird

For birds that seemed to be hated by so many people, I actually found the Brown-headed Cowbirds to be interesting to say the least.

When I first started watching a few male Brown-Headed Cowbirds fuss at each other over a female, I mistook them for common blackbirds. It wasn’t until they became accustomed to me and started letting me get a closer look, that I saw how regal they look.

Initially they caught my attention because of the liquid sound that they make, almost like big drops of water falling into a pond.

The female Brown-headed Cowbird isn’t exactly in the running for the mother of the year award. Not only have they been known to be more than a bit promiscuous, they don’t even bother making a nest.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird
Female Brown-headed Cowbird

They add their eggs to nests belonging to other bird species, and then lets those mamas raise her babies!

For a bird that has all the free time in the world to do nothing but flirt with the males and find as many as 40 nests a year to leave her eggs at, she sure looks like a cranky little thing.

On the other hand, if I laid as many as 40 eggs a year, I might not be all that happy either!

As long as you don’t make any quick movements, photographing Brown-headed Cowbirds proved to be a simple process, especially if you spend a day letting them get used to you being around.

They spend quite a bit of time eating from the ground. Unfortunately, this didn’t give me the background scene that I wanted.

Once I added pieces of apple to the bird feeder, it didn’t take more than about 30 minutes for one of the male Brown-headed Cowbirds to check it out, and I got the picture I was looking for.

One thing that I did notice when setting up to take pictures of the male is that it helped to use the early morning sunlight shining through the tree. Otherwise, his coloring tended to blend into his surroundings.

It did take me a bit longer to get a picture of the female, but mostly because I couldn’t find her right away. There only seems to be one female in my yard, compared to about six males that hang around.

J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and Scenic Photographer
Copyright © 2007 J. Cricket Walker of Online Photography Magazine All Rights Reserved

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