adult male (Georgia, USA; 2009-05-10)

Brown-headed Cowbird
Molothrus ater

Native Range: North America and Middle America

Notes: an obligate interspecific brood parasite, meaning that it lays eggs in the nests of other species (such as warblers) and leaves the rearing of offspring to the unwitting foster parents; formerly followed buffalo herds across North America but now often associated with domestic cattle, hence the bird's name; sometimes the brood parasitism becomes so prevalent that it presents a serious threat to some already endangered species such as the Kirtland's Warbler and (Least) Bell's vireo.

brown head contrasts with glossy black body (California, USA; 2008-07-15)

female; drab brown overall (California, USA; 2008-07-15)

juvenile; streaked underneath (California, USA; 2008-07-15)

juvenile, dorsal view (California, USA; 2008-07-15)

often feed on ground in flocks (California, USA; 2006-03-11)

juvenile, pondering who are his true parents (California, USA; 2008-07-15)