Date: 5/16/18 2:26 pm
From: Steve Hale <srhale20...>
Subject: [NHBirds] cowbird question
Seeking some guidance on a cowbird question. Can and do cowbirds physically
remove and transport the eggs from the nest of their hosts (victims)?

This evening, I found an intact egg from what I suspect is an Eastern
Phoebe (a commonly parasitized host of the Brown-headed Cowbird) on my
deck. There is no nest (of any species) beneath the eaves or on any
structures from which the egg could have fallen. It had to be
carried/transported and then either placed or dropped (without breaking) to
its place on my deck. My guess is that a cowbird did this, but I am
reaching out to the group for confirmation of this.

Inspection of the egg's dimensions suggest it would be a real mouthful
(i.e., too large) for a cowbird, but perhaps the cranial kinetic skull and
flexion zones in the upper and low jaws allow for this.

Any insights, real or speculative, are welcome.
Steve Hale
Open World Explorers

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