Thursday, April 11, 2019

Yard Critter of the Week

Brown-headed Cowbird

"Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowbirds"
– Bill Thompson III

This song plays in my head whenever I see cowbirds.


It's a play on the song warning of growing up to be cowboys (the football team no doubt) and on the fact that cowbirds are nest parasites.


Female cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, which unwittingly raise them as their own. Much to the detriment of the surrogate parents' own offspring, usually tossed out of the nest by the larger cowbird chick.

An effective, if to our sensibilities somewhat evil, lifestyle.

😢  🎸 😢  🎸  😢

I heard Bill Thompson III (aka "BT3") perform Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowbirds twice. Once at the New River Gorge Birding Festival, as seen below. BT3 is the fellow sporting a fez on guitar, and at the DVOC annual banquet where he was the keynote speaker.

When working on this post I went looking for a version of the song I could link to. Instead I found this, an obituary. The obituary talks about the New River Gorge Birding Festival, and BT3's adventures there. Including getting the author his life Swainson's Warbler.

I got mine there as well, although not through Bill's scope.

🐦  🐦  🐦

You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts listed here.

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