Brown-headed Cowbird

About the Brown-headed Cowbird

Also known as: Common Cowbird, Cow Blackbird, Cow Bunting, Cow-pen Bird, Dwarf Cowbird, Eastern Cowbird, Nevada Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbirds are small dark birds, related to orioles, grackles and blackbirds. Males have iridescent black bodies with brown heads; females are much duller, with a brownish-grey overall plumage.

Brown-headed Cowbirds are brood parasites. They do not make their own nests; females lay eggs in the nests of other birds. Baby Brown-headed Cowbirds are raised by the host parents; more than 140 different species of birds have been seen raising baby Brown-headed Cowbirds.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 14 July 2010
Scientific Name
Molothrus ater
  • Passeriformes
  • Icteridae
  • Molothrus
  • M. ater
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 28 September 2017)
LC
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Measurements
Units: Imperial / Metric
7.5 inches
12 inches
1.5 ounces

Range

International Names

Czech vlhovec hnědohlavý
Danish Brunhovedet Kostær
Dutch Bruinkop-koevogel
Finnish lehmäturpiaali
French Vacher à tête brune
German Braunkopf-Kuhstärling
Italian Molotro testabruna
Japanese コウウチョウ (kouuchou)
Norwegian Brunhodetrupial
Polish starzyk brunatnoglowy
Russian буроголовый коровий трупиал
Spanish Vaquero de Cabeza Castaña
Swedish Brunhuvad kostare
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Bird Term: Brood Parasite

Bird Term: Brood Parasite

Brood parasites are birds that rely on other birds, often of a different species, to raise their young. Brood parasitism occurs in organisms other than birds, including fish and insects, but we'll ... more