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Witnessing a callous cowbird act
Bizarro Mother's Day event in Bird World
Click on headline for photo(s), links
By Ed Waggener
We didn't crab our cameras while the egg-napping was underway, we we all saw it and remembered recent postings about brood parasitic birds.
While enjoying a pleasant day and iced tea on the carporch at Tillie's House with Bob Chelf, Pen and Tom, we saw a gray bird fly up to one of at least four Wild Pet nests Teresa and Tom have let become a part of the family. It looked like a parental visit, but we notice that the bird flew out with a beautiful light blue egg, and left it in the grass.
Then it occurred to all of us what we had witnessed. A cowbird usurping a Robin's Nest. When we climbed up the ladder for photo's expecting to see a mixture of robin's and cowbird eggs, we were surprised to see there were none.
Maybe we'll get a follow-up from Tillie, though for the moment she's entered the fortnight before her birthday, and, as is the the Marcum tradition, observance commence two weeks before the actual birthday and and continues for two weeks thereafter - so she's in birthday, not ornithology mode.
Some deep research into the subject of cowbirds' wicked ways was found rereading the Whitehurst diaries. It can be read by clicking to The Whitehurst Diaries: A bit of a bird mystery and a Cat Watch, an indepth essay replete with a photo of a blended bird family nest, suspect parasite: Cowbird.
And, for a Perp Species Portrait, click to http://www.columbiamagazine.com/index.php?sid=66788
This story was posted on 2014-05-11 08:27:13
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