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.

Categories: Anecdote, birds, Gallery, Photography, Wildlife, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. We do not have them in Europe, although you get a few aggressive birds now and again, but they are usually just looking for food and not a fight.


    • These guys aren’t really looking to fight, but they are very possessive and actually guard the feeders, pushing off all the little guys. I don’t mind feeding them, but there are a LOT of them and some days, they eat the contents of both feeders, the black sunflower seeds, AND both suet bars. That’s a lot of food. And the thing is, they aren’t really seed eaters. For them, seeds are dessert. They are insectivores, but they are too lazy to go bug hunting. I’m surprised they are still healthy considering that seeds alone can’t keep them alive.

      I’m hoping they decided to move on, though I’m not optimistic. So I’m still planning to take down the feeders for a few weeks when it finally stops freezing at night and let everything go forage while there’s plenty to eat. Fall and winter will come soon enough.


      • I’ve never heard of a cow bird. Absolutely new to me. Interesting for sure. The woody woodpecker is sure pretty.


        • The full name is Brown-Headed Cowbirds. These are interesting birds. They do not nest, but instead deposit their eggs in the nests of other birds who also raise their young. How the nestlings KNOW they are Cowbirds is an interesting question since they never meet their mother or father. It’s an open question.

          They used to follow herds of buffalo. Now, they arrive and try to make the feeders their personal territory. Interesting birds, but also annoying.


  2. That will teach them to be bullies and seed hogs.


    • Lazy birds can’t get it together to go bug hunting! They actually guard the feeders and push the little birds out of the way. But now, I notice when one or two of the woodpeckers show up, they decide it’s time to fly. The woodpeckers don’t usually fight back, but I think they just got tired of being pushed around by birds they could easily take down. Woodpeckers are strong!

      Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



Light Motifs II

Paula Light's Writing Site | The Classic Edition

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Thoughts & Theories

My Personal Rants, Ravings, & Ruminations

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Light Hearted Mysteries

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

Sparks From A Combustible Mind


Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

%d bloggers like this: