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Could it be ?

SARAH
March 23rd, 2008, 02:56 PM
Of course I didn't have my camera handy :yell: :frustrated: but there was a "new" bird on my feeder this morning!! There was the red-winged blackbird again, so he looks like he's back for good this time, but then I saw a different bird.

Black, shiny blue-green black in fact all over his body, but the head was brown. And he was a lit smaller than the backbird too. So ... bird book to the rescue!

I ended up with a brown headed cow bird.

Does that sound logical to you local folks? I mean, to me, other than the starling and the sparrow, all the birds are new! OK, the chickadee looks like some of the little winter birds I'm used to, but the backbird is a little larger and wiht that red band, the robin is huge compared to the European robin, and the blue jayes differ in color from the more pinkish-beige ones I know - same cry though!

Sure, I could google the thing and see if the photo matches better than the drawing in the book (why are bird books with drawings and not photos!?) but I thought I might a quicker answer, opinion, info here :D

CearaQC
March 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
Kinda sounds like a Brewer's Blackbird to me. But hard to tell with no photo.

Usually there are a bunch of them together. They come here every spring and fall and flip over all the leaves to find tasty tidbits.

The bird books and old botanical books are usually hand drawn and contain soooo much more detail than what you can find in the majority of photos. It is a dying art.

pbpatti
March 23rd, 2008, 04:04 PM
Sarah, I use what I call my bird book bible, I don't know if they have an Eastern and North American volume or not but it is a great book that helps to identify birds. It is called Sibley Field Guide to Birds.

I have attached the page of the cowbird. check it out is it your's?


34867

hazelrunpack
March 23rd, 2008, 05:24 PM
If the head was a matte brown, yes it was probably a brown-headed cowbird...:frustrated: Darn nest parasites! They take quite a toll on some of the warblers' productivity. :shrug:

Our are late this year. It's the one bird species I'm never impatient to see. :D

clm
March 23rd, 2008, 06:40 PM
Sounds like a cowbird to me. Quite a few of mine are back now and flocks of redwing blackbirds and the grackles too. Peaceful times at the feeders for the cardinals, sparrows and house finches are over.

Cindy

Purpledomino
March 23rd, 2008, 07:02 PM
Sounds just like a brown headed cow bird. I've never seen them at my feeders though...just foraging around on the ground close to where the livestock are. I'm pretty sure these are the little guys I've seen catching a ride on the backs of my horses sometimes.

I know this won't be a big deal to you easterners....but a couple years back I had a cardinal at my feeder. Just one male, he hung around for about an hour...then disappeared. A very rare thing to see one in Alberta. I actually video taped him, and called a birding society in Edmonton. They wanted to send a bunch of folks to watch for it....just what I needed, people with cameras hanging around. I told them there wasn't any point it was long gone, and it never came back.

Just wondering what you guys use for seed. I only use the black oil, and I find all the birds eat it... and prefer it over anything, even the woodpeckers.

rainbow
March 23rd, 2008, 08:10 PM
Are there any other types of cowbirds? I love watching birds but my knowledge of them is next to non-existent. :o

We have birds here that look like those pictured except they do not have the brown heads. All the locals around here call them cowbirds though. I'd never heard of cow birds before and was told they were called that cuz they always arrive in herds. :shrug:

Patti, that looks like a good book....what is the name of it?

pbpatti
March 27th, 2008, 01:39 PM
Are there any other types of cowbirds? I love watching birds but my knowledge of them is next to non-existent. :o

We have birds here that look like those pictured except they do not have the brown heads. All the locals around here call them cowbirds though. I'd never heard of cow birds before and was told they were called that cuz they always arrive in herds. :shrug:

Patti, that looks like a good book....what is the name of it?


It is called Sibley Field Guide to Birds, this is one of the best bird books I have found, it covers western Canada and USA.

If anyone knows of a bird book that descibes nests please let me know, I am always trying to find the nests to watch them but no luck. pbp

Chris21711
March 28th, 2008, 10:32 AM
Cowbirds are lazy parents. They (the female of course) lay their eggs in other birds nests and let someone else raise them.

pbpatti- I have a book published by Lone Pine Publishing that tells you what kinds of material, where, how many eggs and how many days to incubate. My book is for Ontario, but their website is http:// www.lonepinepublishing.com
I'm sure they would have one for your area, hope this will help.

Love4himies
March 28th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Cowbirds are lazy parents. They (the female of course) lay their eggs in other birds nests and let someone else raise them.

pbpatti- I have a book published by Lone Pine Publishing that tells you what kinds of material, where, how many eggs and how many days to incubate. My book is for Ontario, but their website is http:// www.lonepinepublishing.com
I'm sure they would have one for your area, hope this will help.

And they can kick the momma bird's eggs out of the nest.

They are nasty birds.:evil: