Date: 5/16/18 4:30 pm
From: Catherine Fisher <catherineckx...>
Subject: Re: [NHBirds] cowbird question
Hi Steve,

Cowbirds don't always carry eggs away, but often do. It's interesting that
yours wasn't eaten - which is something I've observed several times. The
attached link to a study done in the early 90's gives some good
information.
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/condor/v094n03/p0579-p0584.pdf

On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 5:26 PM, Steve Hale <srhale20...> wrote:

> 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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