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Bronzed Cowbird

Silhouette BlackbirdsBlackbirds
Bronzed CowbirdMolothrus aeneus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Icteridae

Basic Description

A compact, bull-necked bird of open country, the Bronzed Cowbird forages for seeds and grains on the ground, usually in flocks. In good light, the male shimmers with deep glossy blue on the wing and a black body with a velvety bronze sheen. Males and females have intense red eyes. Like their relatives, the smaller Brown-headed Cowbirds, these unusual birds are “brood parasites”—they lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, leaving the hosts to provide all the care for their young.

More ID Info
image of range map for Bronzed Cowbird
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Within their range in the southern U.S. and farther south, Bronzed Cowbirds are rather easy to find in open habitats like pastures, farm fields, golf courses, and scrubby grasslands—though they’re not as numerous as the similar Brown-headed Cowbird. Also look for them around spilled grain, in places such as grain elevators and feedlots. Bronzed Cowbirds often lay eggs in Hooded Oriole nests, so if you find Hooded Orioles be on the lookout for cowbirds. Normally, Bronzed Cowbirds travel and forage in small flocks, sometimes with other blackbird species.

Other Names

  • Tordo Ojirrojo (Spanish)
  • Vacher bronzé (French)
  • Cool Facts