Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Brown-headed Cowbird           Molothrus ater

Brown-headed Cowbirds breed in the summer months throughout all of the United States and southern Canada.  The birds in the more northern and northwestern part of the country migrate to the southern and southeastern part of the country during the winter months.

In Florida, they are a permanent resident throughout the whole state.  Their population increases during the winter months as migrants from the north visit the state.

Cowbirds do not build nests or raise their young.  Instead, they lay their eggs in the nests of other species, leaving the foster parents to raise the young cowbirds.  In Florida, this behavior may be jeopardizing the populations of some species of birds, such as the Black-whiskered Vireo, Prairie Warbler, and Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.