Friday, August 26, 2011

Brown-headed Cowbird - Juvenile

Yesterday evening I got out and did my first serious birding in the Victoria area. Based on web recommendations I decided to drive to Esquimalt Lagoon and Coburg Peninsula. There wasn't a large variety of birds, but there were a lot of birds; predominantly California Bulls, Canada Geese, Brewer's Blackbirds and Mute Swans.
The most interesting bird I found had to be the juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird, or at least I'm pretty sure that is what it is. There was an interesting discussion just last week on this bird as it is one of the birds most often misidentified. One of the reasons is that Brown-headed Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and let them raise the young. Therefore it is unusual to see a juvenile with its parents, making it hard to identify by association. In fact, I did not see any adult Brown-headed Cowbirds, the nearest birds to the juvenile were some Brewer's Blackbirds. See more info on this behavior at Cornell's All About Birds.
Also, see an interesting ID article on BirdFellow.

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