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She looks innocent enough, but this little lady can lay up to 40 eggs in a season — and never in her own nest!

She a Brown-headed Cowbird. She and her monkish-looking boyfriend fly into town and scout out spots nests to drop off their orphan children. How bad can this be? Just an egg or two here and there, right?

Pretty bad. The nests the cowbirds most often choose to invade are nests belonging to smaller species. Therefore, when the little chicks emerge from their shell, the bigger and bolder cowbird baby elbows his way to the front of the line at feeding time, hogging all the grub.

I have only seen this pair, so far. If I see more, I’ll take down most of my feeding stations for a couple of days in hopes of chasing them off. It was two or three years ago when a whole flock of them flew into town and stayed long past their welcome. I switched to a feeder that they couldn’t get into and they went away within a few days.

I’d rather have a whole flock of European Starlings than even just one pair of Cowbirds.


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