Monday, April 02, 2007

Brown-headed Cowbirds

They're here....
I've recently seen a male and several female Brown-headed Cowbirds on the feeder. The male is really pretty; he has a chocolate-brown head and neck, and a glossy black body. The females, bless their hearts, are a nondescript brownish color and resemble large dark sparrows. There are a lot of cowbirds around here, but this is the first time I've seen so many at the feeder.

Cowbirds are interesting critters. They're parasitic brooders, which means that they don't build their own nests, but lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. Then they blithely fly away, leaving their egg and subsequent baby for another bird to care for. That's just not nice.

Bathing Beauties
I noticed Darby (the beagle) perched on the back of the couch this morning, staring out the window. I went to see what was so fascinating and spotted two Mourning Doves splashing around in the bird bath. They looked so funny with their feathers sticking out every which way and water dripping everywhere. I didn't realize until last year what enthusiastic bathers they are. They used the bird bath more than anybody else.

They do a good job cleaning up around the feeder post, too, picking up all the dropped seeds and corn. I love to listen to them coo to each other. Their voices are very soothing.

Parrot News
My daughter entered pictures of the parrots in an online photo contest and Pancho won! Well, actually my granddaughter won--she got some free entries in another contest because Pancho was technically her entry. Or something. I don't understand these things. But I do know that Pancho's cute little face got lots of votes.

Until next time, take care, y'all!


Dawno said...

He is such a handsome guy - of course your granddaughter won!

I seem to recall, vaguely as my memory is really not what it should be at all, that Walt Kelly's Pogo cartoons featured some cowbirds - never saw one in real life but always felt like I "knew" about them. Funny where one can get an education.

Anne C. Watkins said...

Oh, that rings a bell. I'll have to google Pogo and see, but that seems right.

I know what you mean--I learn things in the most unexpected ways and places. The trick is to keep your eyes, ears, and mind open!

Frank Baron said...

I remember reading that about cowbirds. Of course you can't take it out on the poor babies. Makes me wanna whack the parents upside the head with a rolled-up newspaper.

Congrats to handsome Pancho and your grandaughter. :)

Dawno said...

BTW, I've nominated your blog for a Blogger's Choice Award :-) Best Animal Blog. You should go vote for yourself :-)

Anne C. Watkins said...

Dawno! Oh, my goodness. Thank you! I'll go check it out. :)

Anne C. Watkins said...

Thanks, Frank! I'll pass your congratulations along to Pancho and Chelsea. :D