and Scientific names:
Shiny Cowbird, Molthrus bonariensis
of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate
(parish) (specific locality)
“Rutherford” cemetery area at 138 A Joe Rutherford Road. Seen two the
right (NE) of
the residence – a travel trailer – in front of gate to a pasture.
May 5, 2011
of day when observed:
Mid-morning 10:25 AM CDST.
observer and address:
Jay V. Huner
428 Hickory Hill Drive
Boyce, LA 71409
observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):
observers who Independently identified the bird(s):
Shiny Cowbird had been reported at
the site within the previous 10 days but simply don’t recall who made the
report on LABIRD.
conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and
amount of light):
Light over my
shoulder looking north at bird. Bird in good light
away from shade when noted.
equipment (type, power, condition):
Zeiss 10 x 40 binoculars, good
Approximately 5 minutes.
Coastal live oak dominated chenier. Birds in yard adjacent to a pasture.
of bird/circumstances of observations (flying, feeding, resting; including
and stress habits in identification: relate events surrounding
Bird was foraging in ankle deep
grass with mixed blackbird flock of a dozen birds, mostly Red-winged Blackbirds
and a few European Starlings.
(include only what was actually seen, not what “should” have been seen:
include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar
species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill,
eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it
from similar species):
When first seen, the bird was in
front of a gate next to a male Red-winged Blackbird. It raised
up its body and I could see its shiny blue-black color. The cowbird was
obviously 85% or so the size of the Red-winged Blackbird next to it.
species (include how they were eliminated by your observation):
A male Red-winged Blackbird with no
obvious red epaulets could be mistaken for a Shiny Cowbird in poor light. The brilliant blue-black color and smaller size than the adjacent
Red-winged Blackbird is how I separated it from a blackbird.
or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? Attached”):
A photograph which I feel shows the
Shiny Cowbird next to a male Red-winged Blackbird has been sent to Paul
experience with this species:
I have seen Shiny Cowbirds at least
twice in Louisiana and once in southern Florida.
aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in
- at time of observation: National Geographic Field Guide.
- after observation: Sibley Field Guide.
description is written from: _x__notes made during the observation (notes
attached?); ___notes made after the observation (date: ______); ___x__
Field Notes: “10:25 AM 5-4-11. Shiny Cowbird male. Bluish Purple.
138 A Joe Rutherford Rd. N. Side. Feeding with mixed flock of
mostly RW Blackbirds.
you positive of your identification? If not, explain. Yes.
of reporter ____”signed” Jay V. Huner___ date_15 May 2011___ time __10:20