The sun returns to Estabrook

First things first, the pair of canada geese and all 8 goslings are still doing fine. I checked on them yesterday afternoon, and the goslings were out munching on the grass in the drizzle. Today, they were all dried out and catching some zzzs in the sun.

I also spotted a pair of cowbirds, which surprised me a little. The last time I saw them, there were three females working across the lawn looking for tasty morsels, and three males sitting in a tree entertaining themselves. I didn’t even realize they were the same species until I got home and looked them up. Given their habit of laying their eggs in the nest of other birds and not participating in raising their young, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d see a male-female pair doing something so mundane together as just searching through the grass for something to eat, but here they are:

The Pedia of Wik reports:
“The brown-headed cowbird eggs have been documented in nests of at least 220 host species, including hummingbirds and raptors. The young cowbird is fed by the host parents at the expense of their own young. Brown-headed cowbird females can lay 36 eggs in a season. More than 140 different species of birds are known to have raised young cowbirds.”

I also captured a nice image of a bird that took me forever to ID, even with the fancy “Merlin” App from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She turns out to be a female red-wing blackbird and is neither black nor has red wings. I’ve put her picture online at

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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