Sunday, May 08, 2016

My favourite brunette.

My brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are back!  Two male cowbirds made their appearance the other morning and availed themselves of the seedy-smorgasbord that Vinomaker spreads on the rail of our deck. Usually, just one male and one female will show up, but there have been no sightings of lady cowbirds as yet.  Personally, if I were them, I would have stayed down south, in warmer climes, a bit longer this spring as the weather up north has been cool and damp for the best part of a week now. They are extremely skittish birds and so it is very hard to get a decent photograph of them.
Cowbirds got their name from hanging around herds of grazing cattle and taking advantage of the myriad of insects that the cattle would flush from the vegetation.  Like cuckoos, cowbirds practice brood parasitism, so they are of dubious character when it comes to their reproductive habits.  Still, I love their quirky brown head-held-high strut and all the chitter-chatter they make.  Welcome back to Vinoland, cowbirds.


Thomas said...

Right after I plant potatoes each year, grosbeaks arrive. Even when, like this year, planting is late. I want to know how they know. Grosbeaks like potato bugs--but, sadly, they do not eat Japanese beetles.

Speaking of eating, ate the first of our asparagus crop last night: how sweet they were.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Cowbirds: Please stay away, my boss hates you for supplanting his baby Cardinal; my boss prefers redheads!
Thomas: So glad you have a brighter report today; you've reminded me of an old saying I used to hear:

Thomas said...

Today, I saw two Orioles. Beautiful bird.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Ooh, fresh spring asparagus sounds delightful.

NHW: I only said that the reproductive-reprobates were good looking :)