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Female Brewer's Blackbird or Brown-Headed Cowbird, Reno NV USA (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I went to a local marsh yesterday (Damonte wetlands) and saw over 200 blackbirds including many with brown heads. At first I thought they were Brown-Headed Cowbirds but since BHC are only occasionally reported here I begin to think they may be female Brewer's Blackbirds. I have included a photo but it suffers from being taken toward the end of the day so I had to lighten it to see details. For this reason the the colors may not be entirely accurate. So are they Brewers or Cowbirds? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Kathy

BH Cowbird or Female Brewers.jpg


Well-known member
Thanks! So there are more Brown-headed Cowbirds there than the reports suggest. I guess 200 blackbirds can be a bit overwhelming. Kathy


Speak softly and carry a long lens
Certainly brown-headed cowbirds. Besides the colors, look how thick their beaks are.

The interesting bit is that all the birds in this photo are males. Were all 200 identical?

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Definitely brown headed cowbirds. The colours match perfectly + the bill is not right for brewer's blackbirds
A wise birder once said that pattern and shape are as important as colour. Moreso in bad light. If the colours are a little out, but the pattern is spot on, it is probably down to lighting.

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