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Woodpeckers (Piciformes)


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  • Picumnus cinnamomeus
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External signs of a borespinal cow corpse

The brown-backed cow corpse is a small bird from 16 to 20 cm. The wingspan is 33 cm, they are proportionally long in relation to the rest of the body. The tail is short. The plumage of the head and neck of the male is brown.

In the summer, the color brightens due to wear on the feathers. All other parts of the body are significantly darker than the face and head. The rest of the plumage is black, shiny, slightly greenish, more blue at the top. Some feathers at the bottom also have a metallic blue tint. The beak is short. The legs are black.

Brown-headed cow corpse (Molothrus ater).

The iris of the eyes is dark brown. The female differs from the male in the color of the feather cover. Its plumage color is completely gray-brown. There are sometimes greenish highlights on the upper body, but the entire central part is dark. The eyebrows are lighter, but do not stand out from the general background.

The underside of the body is colored lighter than the back. This feature is especially noticeable at the level of the throat, which is almost white. The outlines of the cheekbones are dark, partly framing the throat.

The head is lighter than the crown. The beak is pale. Young brown-backed bovine corpses are similar in color to an adult female by the color of their feathers.

Habitats of the brown-backed cow corpse

Brown-backed cow corpses inhabit woodlands and open forest edges and meadows. In the western regions they always keep among the trees growing along the river banks.

The brown-headed cow corpse dwells in open areas.

Birds are distributed in human settlements during nesting. But they avoid dense dense forests, they use fragmentation of forest habitats for resettlement throughout the North American continent.

In the north, they prefer to settle in aspen groves, especially in those that are on the outskirts of forests.

There are no trees among conifers. In search of food, they fly to lawns, pastures and open landscapes of this type.

Spread of the Borespin Bovine Carcass

The brown-backed cow corpse lives in North and Central America. It is found in southern Canada, from the Yukon to Newfoundland. Distributed in the western United States to California, and in northern New Mexico. Winters in northern Mexico and all western US states from Texas and Florida to New England.

In winter, the bird is a frequent visitor to feeders.

Features of the behavior of a brown-backed cow corpse

Brown-backed cow corpses adhere to a certain routine: displaying fluffy feathers, searching for the host's nest, laying eggs and occur in the morning. The search for food is carried out in the afternoon, rather far from the nesting sites.

Reproduction of the brown-backed cow corpse

Brown-backed cow corpses are polygamous birds. But sometimes bird pairs exist for several years.

Males attract females for mating in early or mid-March.

Relationships are especially aggravated when the female is alone, and there are several males. During this parade, males bristle feathers on their necks and breasts, spread their wings like a cloak, spread their tail like a fan, lean forward and sing. The stormy demonstration ends with wiping the beak on a branch. A pair of birds occupies a nesting site, but the territory is not protected. Sometimes the male drives away other competitors who are trying to seduce the female.

The brown-headed cow corpse looks for insects on the ground, which are attracted or frightened away by the cattle grazing in the meadows.

In places of feeding, brown-backed cow corpses are collected in large quantities. They are very sociable birds and in winter they unite with other birds in large flocks, sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands of individuals. With the onset of darkness, they leave the feeding area and settle for a joint overnight stay.

Borespin bovine corpses have a curious way of communicating with other species of birds. If there is another bird nearby, then the corpse sits down next to it and with its beak downed “asks” to clean its feathers. Other individuals also comply with this request. It is assumed that as a result of such actions in birds, hostility and aggressiveness are reduced.

Parasitism of the borespin cow corpse

The brown-backed cow corpse parasitizes in the nests of other bird species. About 144 species of birds feed the foundlings of the brown-backed corpse. Welcome, this is not a cuckoo tossing one egg. The female borespin bovine corpse is very fertile and can lay more than 40 eggs per season. The color of the shell has a changeable color, but the main background is always white or whitish, with more or less pronounced dark spots, concentrated at the wider end.

The brown-headed bovine corpse is a nesting parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of other small songbirds.

The laying time of eggs depends almost exclusively on climatic conditions, especially if the capacity of the other bird's nest is high. The choice of the owner of the nest depends on the region. It can be a flycatcher, a yellow warbler, a sparrow. These birds, as a rule, are small in size, which gives clear juvenile brown-backed corpses in front of small host chicks.

The female corpse finds a suitable nest and drives the nesting bird out of it.

Having laid her egg, she does not touch other people's eggs. In this case, there must be perfect synchronization in time of hatching, otherwise the nestling of the brown-backed corpse will not hatch simultaneously with the offspring of the mistress of the nest. Feeding is also important, the owners of the nest must be insectivorous birds. In the nests of goldfinches and finches, the female of the brown-backed corpse never throws eggs, since these species of birds feed on seeds.

Contrary to popular belief, not all birds are ready to feed a foundling. Some owners of the nest immediately identify someone else's egg and throw it out. Bird species that refuse to feed the parasite include the American Robin and the Bullock Oriole.

Brown-backed cow corpses move in small flocks.

Feeding the Borespin Cow Corpus

The brown-backed cow corpse feeds on a variety of foods. During the breeding season, birds feed exclusively on insects. This food specialization is more pronounced in females than in males. The usual diet outside the nesting season consists of 75% herbaceous seeds, 25% grasshoppers and beetles.

State of the species in nature

The number of brown-backed cow corpse is constantly growing, as the fragmentation of the forest increases, which allowed it to colonize new spaces. Nesting parasitism contributes to the survival of this species, while in some small populations of birds, such as warblers, the number of individuals is declining.

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