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Brown-headed Cowbird (Immature)

Molothrus ater


A finch sized bird, the beak is like a grosbeak, but I can't really tell if it is a grosbeak.



2 Species ID Suggestions

Liam 8 years ago
House Finch (female)
Haemorhous mexicanus BirdForum
TracyL 8 years ago
Female Rose-breasted Grosebeak
Pheucticus ludovicianus Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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JuneMita 8 years ago

I will accept Rob's suggestion for a few reasons. The size of the bird is larger than a finch. After scrutinizing the beaks, the cowbird is longer than the finch. The finch is more triangular. We have breeding cowbirds in our yard which is another reason. Also, the nostril on the beak is raised rather than even where it is attached, common in cowbirds.

RyanWarner 8 years ago

Looks like the typical house finch to me.

JuneMita 8 years ago

It may be a finch. Usually the female has more streaking on the face, but I have never seen one in molt. Anyway, this is one ugly bird. Keep the suggestions coming.

Liam 8 years ago

The bill is too small for a Grosbeak, but too large for a Cowbird. Also, juvie cowbirds have a scaled appearance to the mantle. This is an adult female House Finch in molt.

JuneMita 8 years ago

I have looked at many photos of the cowbird, and I think you are right, Rob. There is a sculpted area under the eye, almost like a cheek, and the juvenile photos seem to also have that cheek. I will leave it up unidentified for a few more days, but I am strongly leaning to the cowbird.

Spotted by

Connecticut, USA

Spotted on Sep 2, 2012
Submitted on Sep 3, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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