Nature Journal
with Photos

Brown-headed Cowbird Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

General Information
- Short, conical bill
- Dark eyes
- Frequents open habitats
- When feeding on ground often cocks its tail
- Often found in large flocks in migration and winter

Adult male
- Brown head
- Black body, wings and tail

Adult female
- Grayish-brown plumage-darker on upperparts
- Underparts faintly streaked
- Throat pale
- Juvenile browner and streakier than adult female with
  pale edging on wings

Similar species
The Brown-headed Cowbird is smaller and shorter-tailed than blackbirds and grackles and has a more conical bill.

Bronzed Cowbird is similar to female Brown-headed Cowbird but has red eyes and is slightly larger with a longer bill.

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