Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seeing Red

Love the red eye on the Giant Cowbird (Molothrus oryzivorus) -- really stands out on this otherwise plain black bird. This is a male bird, who can be readily seen puffing up his chest and strutting his stuff to attract a female. Like most cowbirds, this one is a brood parasite, meaning it lays its eggs in other birds' nests, specifically, the Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma) who then raises the cowbird babies as its own.

It's said that the Giant Cowbird can be found in forests -- something I have not witnessed myself -- and that it prefers open areas. That is the case here where it can be readily seen on the Gallon Jug Farm. Birders from Chan Chich Lodge are known to make the 20 minute drive to the Farm in order to add it to their lists. The call of this bird can best be described as fairly irritating.

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