Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Summary:

Literature Brown-headed Cowbird
[order] Passeriformes |

Brown-headed Cowbird determination[order] Passeriformes | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Molothrus ater | [UK] Brown-headed Cowbird | [FR] Vacher à tête brune | [DE] Braunkopf-Kuhstärling | [ES] Vaquero de Cabeza Castaña | [IT] Molotro testabruna | [NL] Bruinkop-koevogel


Subspecies and global distribution

  1. Dives ater
  2. Molothrus ater ater
  3. Molothrus ater obscurus
  4. Molothrus ater artemisiae
  5. Molothrus ater NA, MA s Canada to s Mexico

Literature

Title
A future cost of misdirected parental care for brood parasitic young?
Author(s): Mark E. HAUBER
Abstract: Parental care is advantageous because it typically increases the survival of
genetically related young. In contrast, parental care given to unrelated young incurs no benefit.
A further cost of parental investment is that it reduces the future repro..[more]..
Source: Folia Zool. 55(4): 367-374 (2006)
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Title
GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD
(MOLOTHRUS ATER) PARASITISM ON DICKCISSELS
(SPIZA AMERICANA) IN GREAT PLAINS TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

Author(s): William E. Jensen and Jack F. Cully jr.
Abstract: The incidence of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds
(Molothrus ater; herea er “cowbirds”) within host species typically refl ects the
continental pa ern in cowbird abundance across North America, where parasitism
is heaviest in the Great ..[more]..
Source: The Auk 122(2):648-660, 2005
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Title
BREEDING BIOLOGY OF BROOD PARASITIC BROWN-HEADED
COWBIRDS (MOLOTHRUS ATER) CHARACTERIZED BY PARENT-
OFFSPRING AND SIBLING-GROUP RECONSTRUCTION

Author(s): BILL M. STRAUSBERGER AND MARY V. ASHLEY
Abstract: We characterized several equivocal aspects of the breeding biology of the brood
parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) at a study site in northeastern Illinois. A
total of 175 offspring and a partial sample of parents were sampled and geno..[more]..
Source: The Auk 120(2):433-445, 2003
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Title
Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird
favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs

Author(s): Jeffrey P. Hoover and Scott K. Robinson
Abstract: Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even
when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance
from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or
equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, howeve..[more]..
Source: PNAS, March 13, 2007, vol.104, no.11, 4479-4483
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Title
Demography, mating system and reproductive success of
the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) at Delta Marsh,
Manitoba

Author(s): Bonnie Woolfenden, H. Lisle Gibbs and Spencer Sealy
Abstract: The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a
native North American icterid and the most common
obligate interspecific brood parasite in North America.
Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other bird
species and all parental care, incl..[more]..
Source: UFS (Delta Marsh) Annual Report, Vol. 31, 1996
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Title
First Record of Brown-headed Cowbird Egg in a Lesser Scaup Nest
Author(s): David N. Koons
Abstract: On 16 June 1999, I found a Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) nest parasitized by a Brownheaded
Cowbird (Molothrus ater). On 22 June the female scaup had begun incubating the 10 scaup eggs but the cowbird egg was missing, presumably ejected by the female..[more]..
Source: Wilson Bull., 112(4), 2000, p. 554
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Title
RESPONSES OF BELL’S VIREOS TO BROOD PARASITISM BY THE
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD IN KANSAS

Author(s): TIMOTHY H. PARKER
Abstract: I studied patterns of cowbird parasitism and responses to this parasitism by Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii) in Kansas. Bell’s Vireos abandoned parasitized nests at a significantly higher rate than unparasitized nests. Lower probability of brood parasit..[more]..
Source: Wilson Bull., 11 l(4), 1999, pp. 499-504
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Title
Brown-headed Cowbirds fledged from Barn Swallow and American Robin nests
Author(s): DONALD H. WOLFE
Abstract: Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) have parasitized at least 220 species of birds, of..[more]..
Source: Wilson Bull., 106(4), 1994, pp. 764-766
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Title
Brown-headed Cowbird and their Impact on Songbirds
Author(s): Jabber M. Al-jabber
Abstract: In recent decades, many environmental organizations, conservationists, and biologists have argued that the Brown-headed cowbirds are a major threat to migratory songbirds population. Therefore, I discuss broad aspects about the Brown-headed cowbirds,..[more]..
Source: unknown
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Title
THE BREEDING SEASON OF A PARASITIC BIRD, THE BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
Author(s): ROBERT B. PAYNE
Abstract: The breeding seasons of birds are usually timed so that the young are reared during a
period of abundant food. At high latitudes nearly all small birds may nest within a week
or two of each other. In warmer temperate climates where plants grow and ..[more]..
Source: The Condor 75:80-99, 1973
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Title
Developmental Origins of Sociality in Brown-Headed Cowbirds
(Molothrus ater)

Author(s): Jennifer L. Miller and S. Grace Freed-Brown
Abstract: Five variables were studied relating to the emergence of sociality in hand-reared cowbirds (Molothrus ater): proximity, sex assortment, reactions to adults, head-down displays, and vocalizations. The authors were especially interested in female socia..[more]..
Source: Journal of Comparative Psychology 2006, Vol. 120, No. 3, 229-238
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Title
Female brown-headed cowbirds’, Molothrus ater, organization and
behaviour reflects male social dynamics

Author(s): MEREDITH J. WEST, DAVID J. WHITE and ANDREW P. KING
Abstract: In four large aviaries, we studied social assortment and reproductive behaviour of female brown-headed
cowbirds housed with males differing in age class and in corresponding levels of intrasexual interaction.
Juvenile and adult females resided with..[more]..
Source: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2002, 64, 377-385
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Title
Females have a larger hippocampus than males in the brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird
Author(s): DAVID F. SHERRY et al.
Abstract: Females of the brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) search for host nests in which to lay their eggs. Females normally return to lay a singe egg from one to several days after first locating a potential host nest and lay up to 40 egg..[more]..
Source: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 90, pp. 7839-7843
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Title
UNSUITABILITY OF TREE SWALLOWS AS HOSTS TO BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS
Author(s): ALEXANDER M. MILLS
Abstract: Swallows are parasitized rarely by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). I added cowbird eggs to 15 Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nests. One egg disappeared and seven failed to hatch whereas 63 of 66 host eggs hatched. The seven cowbird hatchl..[more]..
Source: J. Field Ornithol., 59(4):331-333
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Title
A role of her own: female cowbirds, Molothrus ater, influence the
development and outcome of song learning

Author(s): V. ANNE SMITH et al.
Abstract: Previous work has shown that captive female cowbirds, Molothrus ater, can influence the outcome of male
song development by affecting retention or deletion of song elements and by stimulating improvization.
Here we looked for evidence of female inf..[more]..
Source: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2000, 60, 599-609
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Title
The cultural transmission of courtship patterns in cowbirds,
Molothrus ater

Author(s): TODD M. FREEBERG
Abstract: In this study, I tested whether the courtship behaviours that facilitate patterns of assortative pairing and
mating could be culturally transmitted across generations of brown-headed cowbirds. In an earlier study,
I housed a first generation of you..[more]..
Source: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 1998, 56, 1063-1073
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Title
Female brown-headed cowbirds’ (Molothrus ater)
social assortment changes in response to male song:
a potential source of public information

Author(s): Julie Gros-Louis et al.
Abstract: In many species, females’ behavior appears to be influenced by that of other females, particularly regarding mate choice. Females theoretically can reduce the costs associated with independent male assessment by observing conspecifics. Studies of bro..[more]..
Source: Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2003) 53:163-173
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Title
Variation in growth of Brown-headed Cowbird
(Molothrus ater) nestlings and energetic impacts
on their host parents

Author(s): A. Marm Kilpatrick
Abstract: I tested several hypotheses about the plasticity of avian growth by comparing growth of Brown-headed
Cowbird (Molothrus ater) nestlings in 20 different host species. Growth of cowbird nestlings was not strongly correlated
with host adult mass and n..[more]..
Source: Can. J. Zool. 80: 145-153 (2002)
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Title
Host use strategies of individual female brown-headed cowbirds
Molothrus ater in a diverse avian community

Author(s): Bill M. Strausberger and Mary V. Ashley
Abstract: Although it is well established that brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater are host
generalists, the parasitism strategies of individual females are not well documented.
Here we use microsatellite genotyping to characterize host use by individual fe..[more]..
Source: JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 36: 313-321, 2005
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Title
HOW DO BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS (MOLOTHRUS ATER)
CAUSE NEST FAILURES IN SONG SPARROWS (MELOSPIZA
MELODIA)? A REMOVAL EXPERIMENT

Author(s): JAMES N. M. SMITH et al.
Abstract: A removal experiment was conducted to measure how much and by what
mechanisms brood parasitic Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) cause nest failures in a
commonly used host, the Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia). When numbers of female cowbirds
..[more]..
Source: The Auk 120(3):772-783, 2003
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Title
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (MOLOTHRUS ATER) PARASITISM ON WARBLING VIREOS (VIREO GILVUS)
IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO

Author(s): CATHERIN P. ORTEGA AND JOSEPH C. ORTEGA
Abstract: From May through July, 1993-1998 and 2001, effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism on 36 Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) nests were documented in southwest Colorado. Overall parasitism was 75.0% and was the major source of nest fail..[more]..
Source: The Auk 120(3):759-764,2003
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All of Icteridae

  1. Baltimore Oriole
  2. Icterus galbula
  1. Bobolink
  2. Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  1. Brown-headed Cowbird
  2. Molothrus ater
  1. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  2. Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
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