They don’t get no respect……


They are the Rodney Dangerfields of the avian world.  For you youngsters, Rodney Dangerfield was a stand-up comic who’s seemingly ongoing rants were about him not getting respect from anybody, including his wife.

Anyway, I am talking about the two species of cowbirds that are found in our area here in the Concho Valley.  They lie, cheat, steal, and do just about anything they can get away with.  They especially lay their young in other species nests, so they will have surrogate mothers.  So with all that, they wonder why they don’t get any respect from us.

However, after having said that, I feel that they, in their own right, are very attractive birds.  I am a birder and a bird photographer.  I present you with these images to see if you might agree with me.  First up is the Brown-headed Cowbird.  He (or she) has the worse reputation.  I usually don’t even try to get good photos of one.  (See, I don’t respect them either.)  But I did relent in a weak moment and got this photo.

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Now I must admit, that the other bird of the species, the Bronzed Cowbird might be my favorite of the two.  They are difficult to photograph because of their dark colors, and so I love the challenge.  I might even say that I think they are beautiful.  I love those flashing bright eyes.  I have a weakness for beautiful eyes.  Let’s see what you think after looking at the next two photos.

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird

I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Let’s show a little respect and give a big hand to these ill-treated birds.  Click on either of them to see some enlargements.

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33 thoughts on “They don’t get no respect……

    • Babs, it is amazing how you and I are so alike with our senses of humor, and also our favorite subjects i.e. the herons. I always try to look at the “sunny” side of everything. I read that post of yours, and enjoyed it again. Have a Merry Christmas. 🙂

  1. I agree with David! Those red eyes are amazing. It always makes me wonder what advantage it gives the bird, to have such jewel-like eyes. There’s so much we don’t know about nature! Wonderful photos, too. A very Happy Christmas to you and Ann, from myself and Colin.

  2. Funny. Great pictures of often-ignored species. We get the Brown-Headed and I think they’re beautiful. Their survival strategy is really quite ingenious when you think about it.

  3. I agree – they are beautiful – or at least you have shown their beauty in these gorgeous images. The brown-headed hang out around here in the summer. I find their particular habits quite fascinating – are they extremely intelligent to have figured out how to avoid the chores of child rearing, or just the most neglectful parents on the planet?

    Merry Christmas, Bob. I hope you are enjoying the season.

  4. These are beautiful, Bob. I clicked for a closer look and the detail is amazing! I had seen the brown headed Cow bird before, but never the one with red eyes.

  5. The eyes have it..we get the Brown Headed at our feeders certain times of the year..they can certainly devour the seed…i usually take my feeders down for the duration of their stay..usually doesnot last long. I agree the bronze is beautiful in color and kudos for your photos..

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