NATURE NOTES: Cowbirds

A northern cardinal feeds a young bronzed cowbird.

Along t he Texas coast, you might think of cattle egrets as “cow birds” but there is actually a group of birds known as cowbirds that aren’t herons at all. If you’ve seen one you probably called it a blackbird, as that’s what they look like.

Here along the Texas coast we have two cowbirds, the brown-headed cowbird and the bronzed cowbird. They are both red-winged blackbird size but lack the red and yellow in the wings.

Susan Heath, Ph.D., is an avian conservation biologist for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 299 Highway 332 W. in Lake Jackson. Contact the observatory at 979-480-0999 or visit gcbo.org.

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