Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Blackbirds and Orioles (Icteridae)
Description: Small blackbird with glossy brown head, heavy bill, and dark eyes. Female is dark gray with darker streaks and paler throat. Juvenile is white-throated with white scaling on upperparts and white streaks on underparts.
General: Historically, cowbirds followed herds of migrating bison to take advantage of the food they kicked up in their wake. They are still associated to an extent with large mammals such as cows. A group of cowbirds are collectively known as a "corral" and a "herd" of cowbirds.
Behavior: The birds nomadic lifestyle made it impossible for them to manage a nest. Instead the cowbirds deposit their eggs in nests of other birds species to foster. The cowbird eggs typically hatch earlier than their host’s eggs which gives them a competitive advantage over the other hatchlings.