Merlin

Bronzed Cowbird Identification

Looking for ID Help?

Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds.

Try Merlin Bird ID

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A solidly built songbird with a thick-based, sharply pointed, slightly curved bill. Males have a thick neck, especially when they fluff out the feathers of the nape during displays.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Brown-headed Cowbird, smaller than an Eastern or Western Meadowlark; similar in size to a Red-winged Blackbird.

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 7.9 in (20 cm)
      • Weight: 1.9-2.5 oz (55-70 g)
      • Wingspan: 13.0 in (33 cm)

Regional Differences

Subspecies loyei of Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent parts of Mexico, Texas, and California is the largest of the subspecies; females are grayish brown. The subspecies found from Louisiana through Central America, aeneus, is smaller and females are black. The ranges of these two subspecies meet in far western Texas, where both are uncommon. Subspecies assimilis of southwestern Mexico is similar to loyei but smaller. The endangered armenti of northern Colombia, often treated as a separate species (Bronze-brown Cowbird), is smaller still; males are a luminous brown, unlike the other subspecies.