Cowbird Migration?

Seeing larger groups of Brown-headed Cowbirds making a stop in my backyard it means that they are somehow starting to make a move to the further south. Is this Summer going to be a shot one? It might be if the cold weather of the Arctic starts moving south to North America at early time.

I’m just saying this just hypothetically based on the sudden moves of blackbirds, it’s rather early to be flying in large groups.

They stayed for approximately one hour and then they flew off all at once. That was another clue for thinking they’re on the move, they didn’t stay long as they usually do. In fact I was surprised to see they had left seeds for the local birds! That’s a first!

© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

25 thoughts on “Cowbird Migration?

  1. Your photos are so clear (like HD images) they allow one to inspect this motley crew of hecklers and thugs…thank you! I’ve been wondering the same thing as they haven’t been the thugs they normally are around feeders. They usually hang around into September, when many lawn owners take advantage of seed price cuts and ovrsow their lawns. A practice I participate in as well thereby taking advantage of cooler climes and the opportunity to add grasses into a clover-colonized lawn. Could it be (with the increased use of R-up ready-non-food-source crops) a growing lack of food sources here or on their migration route or a larger population causing the migration to begin early? Just spitting out a thought or two, not terribly sensible ones, but maybe pondering material?…are they also insect eaters? i’ve noticed our RedWingedBlackbirds and Grackles have moved on…gone south as well?

    • It’s obvious that you’ve noticed the change in migration pattern in blackbird family. The RWB left about 3 weeks ago, Grackles I see just a few lately, Blue Jays have been absent this season. I believe that they are starting to move further south, I have the feeling that we’ll have an early fall followed by a long cold winter.
      Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. I’ve noticed a lot of shorebirds here on the east coast have long begun their changing of coloration from summer easing into winter colorations already. Seems that means a long, cold winter, yes? Or something…

    • It’s quite possible Debi, I believe that we’ll have an early Autumn and a long cold Winter to follow. Just keep your blanket handy! Thanks! 🙂

    • It’s a good mix of sunflower seeds, peanuts and a variety of seeds, popular amongst birds. Much more nourishing and balanced than our morning cereal or bagels. I almost forgot the sweet fruit flavored nectar for the hummingbirds.
      Thanks Kismet! 🙂

  3. It is strange that they should feel the need to migrate so early especially as the young birds look as though they haven’t finished growing all their adult feathers yet and the older ones haven’t finished their moult. It feels very much like autumn here too. So early! Much too early!

    • I think that their instinct must be indicating that is time to migrate. I’m not sure that they are in full migration or if they just want to be a bit more southbound.
      Thank you for sharing Clare! 🙂

    • I imagine that if you’ve noticed the change, hence the birds that have a keen sense of atmospheric changes. Thank you for sharing Barbara! 🙂

  4. Without running off to research this (my brain is tired) I suspect that there is some kind of migration going on, as all the icteridae species have been congregating and I have often seen large groups of cowbirds. If nothing else the cowbirds, I would think, have a particular interest in becoming more familiar with their own species after having been raised by surrogate parents. 🙂

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