Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) - HBW 16, p. 786
French: Vacher à tête brune
Spanish: Tordo Cabecipardo
Other common names: Common Cowbird
Taxonomy: Oriolus ater Boddaert, 1783, Carolina, USA.
Closely related to M. bonariensis, and much resembling it in habits, general behaviour and voice. Race obscurus intergrades with artemisiae in Sierra Nevada (California). Proposed race californicus, described from L Buena Vista (Kern County), in SC California, is subsumed in obscurus. Three subspecies recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution:
- obscurus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - breeds along Pacific seaboard from S Alaska S (E to the Cascades and Sierra Nevada) to NW & N Mexico (N Baja California, also on mainland S to Oaxaca); N populations migrate to S parts of breeding range, in Mexico extending to S Baja Califonia.
- artemisiae Grinnell, 1909 - breeds from W Canada (interior British Columbia E to SC Manitoba) S in W USA (E from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada) to California, Nevada and New Mexico; migrates S to Mexico (S to Michoacán).
- ater (Boddaert, 1783) - breeds from SE Canada (S Ontario E to Newfoundland) S throughout E USA to C Texas, Gulf Coast and C Florida, and in E Mexico S to Tamaulipas; winters in Florida and in Mexico S to Oaxaca.
- Least Concern Enlarge map
VideosSee all 31 videos
A lateral view of an adult male perched looking around, and then flying away Locality Ventura County, California, USA (United States) (ssp artemisiae)
Don DesJardin 31 March 2008 7 years ago 16 sec 4.9
An adult male displaying to a responding female Locality Ventura County, California, USA (United States) (ssp artemisiae)
Don DesJardin 31 March 2008 7 years ago 36 sec 4.8
A female foraging on a marine encrusted rock exposed at low tide for very small marine crustaceans. Locality Ventura, Ventura County, California, USA (United States) (ssp artemisiae)
Don DesJardin 21 December 2007 6 years ago 39 sec 4.7
A pair feeding at a feeder Locality Atlanta, Georgia, USA (United States) (ssp ater)
Alan Larson 14 April 2005 9 years ago 16 sec 4.3
A single bird comes to bath in drip pond. Locality Mandeville, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, USA (United States)
Bill Wayman 1 May 2011 1 year ago 49 sec 4.3
A female feeding on the ground, under a bird table Locality Greenwich Audubon Centre, Connecticut, USA (United States) (ssp ater)
Josep del Hoyo 1 May 2006 8 years ago 26 sec 4.2
PhotosSee all 71 photos
A male on a branch
Locality Montmagny, Quebec, Canada (ssp ater)
Guy Poisson 11 June 2011 3 years ago 4.5
A juvenile calling out for its surrogate Song Sparrow mother
Locality Arcata, Humboldt County, California, USA (United States)
AndrewSmith 15 June 2014 49 weeks ago 4.4
An adult male that joined us on our stop.
Locality New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (United States)
Jblanke 9 February 2013 1 year ago 4.4
Brown-headed Cowbird at Martinez Marsh
Locality Martinez Salt Marsh, Contra Costa County, California, USA (United States)
Ethan Winning 29 April 2010 2 years ago 4.4
Adult male feeding on the ground
Locality Ocean Beach, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA (United States)
Peter Vercruijsse 13 February 2004 1 year ago 4.3
Fledgling on the ground.
Locality Lakeshore Village, Waterloo, Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada
Miriam Bauman 31 July 2011 3 years ago 4.3