Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Brown-headed Cowbird

Vacher à tête brune

Molothrus ater

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities

Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America

Life, Habitat & Pictures of the North American Cowbirds

B L W W W Family Latin Name
7.5" 19cm 12" 30.5cm 1.5oz 42.5g Icteridae Molothrus ater

North American Bird Calls

  1. Click to hear Choice 1
  2. Click to hear Choice 2
  3. Click to hear Choice 3

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

The Brown-headed Cowbird is the most numerous and widespread of the three types of cowbirds seen in North America. This bird is a brood parasite, meaning the female lays her eggs in other bird species nests, leaving the unsuspecting parents to raise the cowbird's young. This practice has led to the decline of other bird species and the need to protect them from the cowbirds.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds