Monday, June 5, 2017

Shiny Cowbird

Talk about a random bird.   I was about an hour away from Whitefish when word spread that Adam and Phil had found a Shiny Cowbird at the Whitefish feeders.  It was definitely odd to be looking at a bird whose core range is in South America that I've never even seen in Central America but was present on the shores of Lake Superior.

And I don't think I've ever seen a bird that combined more 2nd best attributes of more birds.  It generally has the shape of a Red-winged Blackbird, but not the epaulets.  It has the glossy plumage of a Brewer's Blackbird but not the bright eye.

It has the broad head of a cowbird but neither a brown hood nor a red eye.

You'll notice it has a lot of worn feathers in the wings and faded brown primaries.  My assumption is that this is a first year male; females and young Shiny Cowbirds are brown.

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