Some birds are cows. It's a fact. Most avian creatures take a nibble here. A nibble there. But there's a special type of bird known for its gluttony. No amount of seed can tame their feral hunger.
FTM Creature #45
Cowbirds are not shy about eating. Cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, nuthatches—these winged aerial acrobats don’t like stuffing their beak in front of large bipedal mammals. There are exceptions, of course.
Bovine birds will graze from an open trough and not think twice about eating every sunflower seed available. They sure as hell ain’t counting calories and they sure as hell don’t care about anyone’s intrusion (probably). And the population is increasing. Why? Because cowbirds eat the whole trough (not really).
Many birds usually have a few friends nearby. Crows or ravens join a gang at an early age, and cowbirds are also known to form herds. It’s not uncommon to observe five cowbirds grazing from the same feeder…at the same time. Usually when someone says to themselves: “Gee…I’d like to feed the birds”—what they mean to say is this: “Gee… I’d like to feed the cowbirds.”—because that’s who gonna take all the food (if they’re in the area. Sorry chickadees).
Male cowbirds look much different than the females, and they can be larger. Their brown hoods gleam in the sunshine, while female cowbirds prefer an even colored grayish or tan plumage, because it’s more stylish.
Cows have a distinct form of communication: Moooooo…and other undefinable nasal grumbles. Cowbirds also have a distinct form of communication…but I won’t attempt to give an impression. Sorry. You know how your mother told you not to chew your food while speaking? Cowbirds were never taught that lesson.
Birds are able to socially stuff their beak in relative peace due to a little thing called a ‘pecking order’. Well…kind of. Lower status members of a flock may not be able to eat…but that’s not a big deal, right? There’s always tomorrow, and the pecking order ensures every member of the flock receives another opportunity to eat…
A cowbird swoops down and flaps all the finches and sparrows off the communal seed trough….because…there’s a pecking order. And they should have known better.
Are you bored? Perhaps you don’t mind wasting the next few minutes of your life? Great! Then hit the play button below and watch a cowbird stuff its beak.