Date: 7/23/17 9:58 am From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...> Subject: [obol] Cowbird chick with Chipping Sparrow in Soap Creek Valley
This morning at an oak savanna site in the Soap Creek Valley (northern Benton County), I saw a full-grown BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD chick on a wire next to an adult CHIPPING SPARROW, begging. When the Chipping Sparrow flew off with several others, the cowbird chick followed.
Surprisingly this is the first case of cowbird/Chipping Sparrow nest parasitism at this site. Both cowbirds and Chipping Sparrows have been conspicuous at this location ever since I started visiting back in the late 1990s.
In other parts of their range, Chipping Sparrows are a common host species for cowbirds. But here they seem to mostly successful in avoiding cowbird parasitism. I've seen probably 20 or 30 sets of Chipping Sparrow adults with fledglings at various Benton/Polk County sites this year, and just this one cowbird chick.