The female Cowbird appears

female cowbird

The female Brown-headed Cowbird made an appearance yesterday, a few hours after I spotted the male. Both seem to have arrived with a mixed flock of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles.

cowbird and cardinal

The cowbird and a male Northern Cardinal shared the feeder for a few minutes in the late afternoon.

IMG_3298

This is the moment my husband opened the sliding glass door to the back deck and both birds became alert, just before flying off.

grackle

Common Grackle cleaning up the old bird seed in melting snow.

Why Do Blackbirds Form Large Flocks?Though many birds band together during winter, none are as notorious for their flocking behavior as blackbirds…red-winged blackbirds, European starlings, common grackles and brown-headed cowbirds.

This was a small flock yesterday, a mini-flock, maybe a transitioning-to-spring flock (if there is such a thing) with 6 or 7 grackles and about the same number of red-winged blackbirds, plus the cowbird couple.

Birdcast Regional Migration Forecast: 3-10 April: Upper Midwest and Northeast lists Brown-headed Cowbirds as “arriving.”

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