[Fosc] Cowbirds take over!

Mark Rauzon mjrauz at aol.com
Fri Jul 20 13:37:38 PDT 2012

In the El Centro riparian stretch of creek of Dimond park in Oakland, I've encountered brown-headed cowbirds being raised by the neo-tropical songbirds attracted to this habitat.
Today I managed to photograph this parasitic relationship with a Wilson's Warbler. The cowbird female lays its egg in another bird's nest and the large egg is hatched and the larger chick is raised to the determent of their own brood. The parents slavishly feed the oversized young. Careful -photo is disgusting.

Yesterday I saw this with a Warbling Vireo not 100 meters away from this sighting, making me wonder if restorations are are especially vulnerable to cowbird parasitism because they are fringe zones near urban areas.  Nevertheless, I also found several broods of Wilson's Warbler not so affected by this scrouge to songbirds. 

I also photographed the California Quail which has adopted our restoration spot at Fern Ravine, Sequoia Arena of Joachin Miller park. As Rob Leidy pulled weeds, a quail stood on the picnic table nearby, where the Friends of Sausal Creek had a party Wed. night. It's wonderful to see them thriving in the watershed again.


Good Birding. 
Mark Rauzon

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