‘Tis the day after Christmas (or Boxing Day in the U.K., Canada and elsewhere in the Commonwealth countries) and I thought I would feature a picture of the much maligned Brown-headed Cowbird (en français: Vacher à tête brune | scientific name: Molothrus ater) on this weekly feature. Now as you may know, Cowbirds are considered the Grinches of the bird world. But instead of leaving a lump of coal in the nests of its fellow birds, it leaves its own eggs! Some of you may have seen their enormous hatchlings in the nests of tiny birds like warblers, wrens and nuthatches. I think this photo of a Wilson’s Warbler feeding a Brown-headed Cowbird offspring says it all.
Nonetheless, as the following photo taken attests, even the understated female is actually quite lovely in its own way: