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Related to brown-headed cowbirds: North American cowbird


Any of various blackbirds of the genus Molothrus, especially the common North American species M. ater, that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and are often seen accompanying herds of grazing cattle.

[From their habit of staying with cattle.]


(Animals) any of various American orioles of the genera Molothrus, Tangavius, etc, esp M. ater (common or brown-headed cowbird). They have a dark plumage and short bill



any blackbird of the genera Molothrus and Schapidura, noted for their brood parasitism, esp. the common North American species M. ater.
[1795–1805, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cowbird - North American blackbird that follows cattle and lays eggs in other birds' nestscowbird - North American blackbird that follows cattle and lays eggs in other birds' nests
blackbird, New World blackbird - any bird of the family Icteridae whose male is black or predominantly black
References in periodicals archive ?
Additionally, expansion of agriculture and logging into Michigan brought with it brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), "nest parasites" that lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting host birds who then go on to raise the cowbird chicks as their own.
Effects of brown-headed cowbirds on the nesting success of chipping sparrows in southwest Colorado.
When young male Brown-headed cowbirds are raised in pairs with a female of the other subspecies, they do not learn their own species' song, but rather the song of the female's subspecies.
This month's cover image, [1] Plate 99 from Birds of America (printed in stages during 1827-1838) by American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon (1785-1851), shows a pair of oft-vilified brown-headed cowbirds.
While other studies in the central United States have reported relatively high abundances of brown-headed cowbirds (Cully and Winter 2000, Powell 2008, Rahmig et al.
1995), and are hypothesized to be influenced by fragmentation of forests on breeding grounds (Gates and Evans, 1998; Robinson and Robinson, 2001), brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Robinson et al, 1995), deforestation in the tropics (Bollinger and Linder, 1994), invasion of exotic plants and increasing populations of browsers (Elphick et al.
Brown-headed cowbirds are a New World blackbird, which - like cuckoos - lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, though evolution made no attempt to make their eggs look like those of their hosts.
The brown-headed cowbirds of North America outsource nest building and chick raising.
Limited habitat and brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds are two reasons why the warbler is endangered.
Brown-headed cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds' nests.