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  • For seven weary months he had wandered about New York's skyline, looking for just the right corner, as peevish as a cow-bird looking for a copse nest.

    The Man Who Made Good

  • Of the Argentine cow-bird (_Molothrus bonariensis_) Hudson says

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 Analysis of the Sexual Impulse; Love and Pain; The Sexual Impulse in Women

  • The dwarf cow-bird (_Molothrus ater obscurus_) is similar to his relative just described, except that he is smaller and his geographical range is more restricted.

    Our Bird Comrades

  • From whichever side the wind blew it was calm here, and during the heaviest rain the birds would sit here in their thousands, pouring out a continuous torrent of song, which resembled the noise produced by thousands of starlings at roosting-time, but was louder and differed somewhat in character owing to the peculiar song of the cow-bird, which begins with hollow guttural sounds, followed by a burst of loud clear ringing notes.

    Far Away and Long Ago

  • These concert-singers, the little green and yellow field finch and the purple cow-bird, were with us all the year round, with many others which it would take a whole chapter to tell of.

    Far Away and Long Ago

  • I have had no opportunities of observing the habits of the young cuckoo in England with regard to this point, and do not know whether other observers have paid any attention to the matter or not, but I am very familiar with the manners of the parasitical starling or cow-bird of South America.

    The Naturalist in La Plata

  • After the cow-bird has left the nest it is still stupidly tame, and more than once I have seen one carried off from its elevated perch by a milvago hawk, when, if it had understood the warning cry of the foster parent, it would have dropped down into the bush or grass and escaped.

    The Naturalist in La Plata

  • The warning cries of the foster parent have no effect on the young cow-bird at any time.

    The Naturalist in La Plata

  • The male screaming cow-bird of La Plata, when perched, emits a hollow-sounding internal note that swells at the end into a sharp metallic ring, almost bell-like: this is uttered with wings and tail spread and depressed, the whole plumage being puffed out as in a strutting turkey-cock, while the bird hops briskly up and down on its perch as if dancing.

    The Naturalist in La Plata

  • The believer in the theory would put all these cases lightly aside, to cite that of the male cow-bird practising antics before the female and drawing a wide circle of melody round her; or that of the jet-black, automaton-like, dancing tyrant-bird; and concerning this species he would probably say that the plain-plumaged female went about unseen, critically watching the dancing of different males, to discover the most excellent performer according to the traditional standard.

    The Naturalist in La Plata


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