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Giant Cowbird

Giant Cowbird
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-09-10 7:16
Viewed: 2059
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A close-up of this bird in sunlight. From a distance it looks totally black.

The Giant Cowbird, Molothrus oryzivorus, is a large passerine bird in the New World family Icteridae, the orioles, grackles, cowbirds, etc. It breeds from southern Mexico south to northern Argentina, and on Trinidad and Tobago. It may have relatively recently colonised the latter island.

It is associated with open woodland and cultivation with large trees, but is also the only cowbird that is found in deep forest. It is a quiet bird, particularly for an icterid, but the male has an unpleasant screeched whistle, shweeaa-tpic-tpic. The call is a sharp chek-chik. They are also very adept mimics.

Like other cowbirds, it is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of oropendolas and caciques. The eggs are of two types, either whitish and unspotted, or pale blue or green with dark spots and blotches. The hostís eggs and chicks are not destroyed, but there is considerable doubt about the theory that the young Giant Cowbirds benefit the hostís chick by removing and eating parasitic flies.
Their icterid hosts breed colonially, and defend their nests vigorously, so even a large, bold and aggressive species like the Giant Cowbird has to cover an extensive territory to find sufficient egg-laying opportunities. Several Giant Cowbird eggs may be laid in one host nest.

The male Giant Cowbird is 36 cm long, weighs 180 g and is iridescent black, with a long tail, long bill, small head, and a neck ruff which is expanded in display. The female is 28 cm long and weighs 135 g. She is less iridescent than the male, and the absence of the neck ruff makes her look less small-headed. Juvenile males are similar to the adult male, but browner, and with a pale, not black, bill.
This gregarious bird feeds mainly on insects and some seeds, including rice, and forages on the ground or in trees. It rarely perches on cattle, unlike some of its relatives, but in Brazil it will ride on Capybaras as it removes horse flies.

Source: Wikipedia

Hotelcalifornia, tuslaw, marius-secan, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2015-09-10 7:50]

Hello Peter,
Lovely capture of the Giant Cowbird in a fine pose showing pretty sharp details. It looks great against the soft background.Regards Sigi

Hello Peter,

I haven't seen this bird before. Nice to see this attractive species. Nice pose.... well captured against such beautiful BG. Bird is well sharp too.
Thanks for sharing with useful NOTE,

Wat apart deze vogel Peter
Hij is super mooi en de foto is goed van scherpte en de achtergrond is prachtig
bedankt weer

gr lou

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely bird with fantastic eye, beautiful blurry BG, fine details, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • mishe Gold Star Critiquer [C: 110 W: 0 N: 3] (1076)
  • [2015-09-10 12:55]

Hallo Peter.
Pose,sharpness,colors and bg. are excellent.
Great shot.Thanks for sharing.
With best wishes,Mishe.

Hello Peter,
the alert pose and sharp clear details are very well displayed with the bright yellow eye a pleasing feature.
Regards Les.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-09-10 14:56]

Hi Peter,great capture of this very elegant bird,magnificent pose and the usual top quality,curious face expression...eheh...have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2015-09-10 20:18]

Hello Peter,
Your close-up shot really brings out the color in it's otherwise black looking plumage. Very sharp and showing good detail. I love it's erect stance and curious facial expression. Great eye contact and shown against an attractive blurred BG. Well done!!

Zeer aparte vogel Peter, met nog vreemder ogen.
Scherp en mooie achtergrond.

Thanks for sharing.


Hello Peter,
Thanks for visiting my gallery. This is indeed a interesting specie of bird...Excellent focus and very good details.

Hello Peter
Another perfect bird shot in a wonderul pose and against a clear BG
as always , the details and the colors are superb
Have a geat WE

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2015-09-12 8:14]

Hallo Peter,
A nice capture of this beautiful the Giant Cowbird ..
Excellent photo of this bird, with fine POV and framing, excellent focus sharpness details.
Have a nice weekend,

Hello Peter

Excellent close-up shot of the Giant Cowbird, with fine POV obtaining
its expressive lovely eye-contact, great focus, sharpness, and wonderful
details of its dark plumage, very beautiful background, TFS


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