Birding Buddy Mark and I were moving between the perimeter of a Lowe’s Store and a pond within Springbrook Forest Preserve in search of some newly hatched Green Winged Teal when up popped a Common Yellowthroat. This one had some food in its beak and perched atop a stalk not far away for a little show.
He perched there for awhile, capturing our attention, and then flew off. About 50 yards farther down we saw an immature Cowbird perched on a stalk.
Suddenly the male Common Yellowthroat flew in beneath the Cowbird on the same stalk!
As you can see above, the baby cowbird leaned down with its beak open seeking food. From the Common Yellowthroat? Yes!
We were amazed that the Common Yellowthroat would be feeding the much larger Cowbird – until we realized that the Cowbird was one of the Yellowthroat’s hatchlings. Female Cowbirds lay their eggs in other species’ nests and when hatched, the nest-builder species treats the Cowbird hatchling as their own. In this case, even when the Cowbird is twice the size of the Common Yellowthroat. Daddy Yellowthroat kept flying back and forth with food for junior. A lot of work!
Stay Safe. Go Birding. Take Pics. Repeat.
If you would like to learn more about GreatBirdPics.com CLICK HERE. Members can post their own Great Bird Pics, communicate with other members, and receive regular emails about bird photography.