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Adults are black with limited feather sheen, usually greenish-blue; female smaller (rufous axillars are usually not seen in the field). Younger birds mirror Bay-winged Cowbird.
 Similar species
Shiny Cowbird has a longer bill and rounder head. It is sexually dimorphic, so flocks of all black birds are more likely to be the present species.
This is a monotypic species.
Pastureland, towns, scrubby areas, and heavily degraded former forest.
It parasitizes the nest of the Bay-winged Cowbird.
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