Archive for October 25th, 2007

Brown-headed Cowbird, Part 2

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

Calling a brown-headed cowbird a cowbird, is a misnomer as far as biologist Marsha May is concerned.

I think they should be called bison birds, and not cowbirds, because they evolved with the bison.

Semantics aside, the bird’s habit of laying its eggs in other birds’ nests can cause the decline of species with small populations, such as the endangered Black-capped Vireo. Additional species are also impacted.

Woodland species are now being impacted by brown-headed cowbirds, because we’ve fragmented the woods. Previously those woodland species were protected by the woods. Now that it’s fragmented, the cowbirds are getting into that habitat, and they’re parasitizing birds that have never historically been parasitized before.

The cowbird is in the blackbird family. The male has a black body and brown head, while the female is mottled brown and gray. Want to intervene on songbirds’ behalf.

You can actually become certified in Texas to trap for cowbirds, and that’s mainly during the breeding season, between March first and May thirty-first. And, mainly you’re trying to trap the females.

Information on the certification program can be found at

That’s our show… we receive support from the Wildlife Restoration Program… funded by your purchase of shooting and hunting equipment.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Find information about the Cowbird Trapping Program when you click here.