Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feather your nest

Do you know about cowbirds? They lay their eggs in nests of birds of other species. This photo is courtesy of my friend Linda P. She took the picture in her backyard some weeks ago. She reported to me that the cowbird egg did not hatch.

In doing a little research about cowbirds, I found this:

Some species may simply build a new layer over the bottom of the original nest. Brown-headed cowbird nestlings are sometimes expelled from the nest. This rejection, however, may trigger a "mafia" reaction, according to a study by the Florida Museum of Natural History. When the parasitic egg was removed from the host nest, the cowbird returned to ransack the nest about 56% of the time. In addition, the cowbird also destroyed nests in a type of "farming behavior" to force the hosts to build new ones. The cowbirds then laid their eggs in the new nests 85% of the time.

Next thing you know, HBO will be replacing The Sopranos with a show about cowbirds in therapy.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Oh yes I am truly enjoying Far Pavilions! It is a big piece of reading and just too good!
I restrained myself from casting on the new socks yesterday as I still have the toe of my first "Pieces of Eight" to finish and I need to come see you and get more yarn to finish the second sock. I'll explain why when I see you!

I have cowbirds in my neighborhood so I suppose they are making some other poor bird's lives a living hell!