Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater)are our only regularly occurring Icterid (new world Blackbirds) here at Leaning Oaks. We sometimes have fly-over Red-winged or Brewer's Blackbird, but we have yet to see either of those species land on the property. Despite the fact that this species is a relatively recent arrival to the west coast, its hard to imagine a spring without this species, their liquid call notes and constant head raising displays are a common sound and sight here in May, June and July. We have a few records as early as the first week of March through to the end of August. We have been photographing the birds that come to the gravel stream the past month, and we've noticed that the female cowbirds come to bathe often - but we have yet to see a male bathe. Rcently we have noticed that at twilight small flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds can be seen flying northward, presumably off to roost in a suitable spot.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.