Brown-Headed Cowbirds


Brown-Headed Cowbirds in North Louisiana

Pair of brown-headed cowbirds on a wooden bridge

Did you know that the brown-headed cowbird is North America’s biggest nest parasite?

Brown-Headed Cowbirds
a Glance

Male brown-headed cowbird foraging on the ground

Key Features:

Male brown-headed cowbirds are chunky blackbirds with brown heads. Females are brown.

Least Concern - Population Decreasing


Fields, forest edges, grasslands, orchards, parks, pastures, prairies, and thickets

nesting habits:

Brown-headed cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

seasons brown-headed cowbirds are active in our area:

All year


Seeds, insects, eggs, and snail shells

hunting Behavior:

Brown-headed cowbirds forage on the ground, usually in mixed flocks.

Commonly Confused With:

Brewer's Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and Red-Winged Blackbirds

Curious female red-winged blackbird looking out from her perch on a tree branch

Female brown-headed cowbirds are often confused with female red-winged blackbirds because both are brown.  Female red-winged blackbirds are more heavily streaked.

Male brown-headed cowbird near a sidewalk

Male brown-headed cowbirds are often confused with Brewer’s blackbirds because both have black bodies.  Male brown-headed cowbirds have brown heads.  Brewer’s blackbirds are solid black.

See brown-headed cowbirds @

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