Two summers ago, we had a lot of visiting cowbirds, but last summer, we barely saw a single one. This year, though, they have shown up in force. They have become possessive, territorial, and aggressive to all the other birds.
Yesterday, though, they tried to take on a big Red-Bellied Woodpecker and quickly learned that they were outclassed. We get a lot of baby “half-size” Red-Bellies, but these guys were big. At least half again as big as the cowbirds with a beak as long as the cowbirds’ heads. They backed off in a hurry.
There is something very Hitchcockian about finding yourself outside, looking up, and seeing branches full of black cowbirds. Of course, they aren’t black. They are brown and black, but deep blue or green in sunlight, Yet — they lurk.