Brown Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Brown Headed Cowbirds are a common visitor at my backyard seed feeders during the summer. This particular day had several dozen at a time arriving and feeding and chirping among themselves along the ground. Listen for their unique call that I would describe as a "liquid water droplet" followed by a few chirps. The males have a dusty brown head and a black body with an iridescent blue when shined in the light. The females happen to be all brown with black beans. In the the world of birds, the males are always the more colorful ones. In this photo a male was captured perching along my birdbath.
Brown Headed Cowbirds, while a native North American species, are actually considered a parasitic one. They are one of the only birds to lay their eggs in anothers nest. This forces the nest "host" to raise their young but can cause complications when having more mouths to feed. This is a rather odd behavior that ornithologists have not quite figured out why.
I love the tack sharp focus on the eye here. I have pine needle trees behind this birdbath and so the browns and blacks in the background make for a beautiful color palette.
Note: This photo is actually a part of a two photo series where the other half of the birdbath and another Cowbird are present.
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