Brown-headed Cowbirds are considered to be a bit of a pest. They are brood parasites, meaning they lay their eggs in other species nests and leave the work of raising them to the host parents. Ornithologists point out that this behavior was beneficial for their nomadic life-style. Before the arrival of Europeans and their cattle, [Read the full post...]
I consider myself lucky to see Yellow-billed Cuckoos once or twice a year, but this year I’ve spotted one four different times. They are medium-sized birds related to the much more common (at least around here) and somewhat larger Greater Roadrunner. They lay their eggs over a week or so in a rather flat nest. Occasionally they will lay eggs in another bird’s nest, but are not obligate brood parasites like their Eurasian cousin, the Common Cuckoo. In lean times they have been observed pushing the smaller, younger chicks from the nest.
This photo was taken at Palo Duro Canyon State Park about an hour’s drive south of my house. I’ve also seen them at Lake Meredith’s Spring Canyon, Harbor Bay, and McBride Canyon, as well as at the Palo Duro Reservoir, about an hour north of Lake Meredith.
In this picture the white spots on the under side of the tail and the reddish color of the upper side of the wings are noticeable.
This photo of a Greater Roadrunner was taken last year at Lake Meredith.