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Bronzed Cowbird

Molothrus aeneus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: ICTERIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A Central American bird, the Bronzed Cowbird makes its way to the United States only in the border states and Louisiana. Like other cowbirds, the female does not make a nest, but instead lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species.

Birds of North America Online
ML Essential Set

Appearance

Blackbirds
Blackbirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized songbird.
  • Medium-long tail.
  • Bill stout and pointed.
  • Male shiny black with red eyes.
  • Female dull gray-brown.

Male Description

Blackish overall. Bronzy iridescence on back and rump. Can erect ruff of feathers on neck. Bill black. Eyes red in breeding season, brownish orange in nonbreeding season. Legs black.

Female Description

Overall dull black or grayish brown. Lacks ruff. Eyes brownish orange.

Immature Description

Similar to female, with indistinct dark streaks on breast and belly.

Range Map Help

Bronzed Cowbird Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Brown-headed Cowbird is smaller, has shorter bill, smaller head, longer tail, and dark brown eyes. Male has brown hood contrasting with black body.
  • Shiny Cowbird has thinner bill, and lacks red eyes and neck ruff.
  • Brewer's Blackbird female darker brown, has dark around the eyes, and has a thinner, more pointed bill.