Date: 7/23/17 9:58 am
From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...>
Subject: [obol] Cowbird chick with Chipping Sparrow in Soap Creek Valley
Hi all,

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.

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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