Cowbirds, cuckoos and changeling stories


This 2016 video says about itself:

Brood parasitism: American Robin rejects a Cowbird egg

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) rejects an egg of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) – Ithaca – New York State – USA, 2015.

Video credit: Analía V. López, Miri Dainsonm, Mark E. Hauber.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA, 23 August 2018:

How did the bizarre folklore of the “changeling” child first enter European literature? Perhaps an avian reproductive strategy called “brood parasitism” served as inspiration. Brood parasitism is how some birds avoid the work of raising young by laying eggs in the nests of other birds.

In our latest blog post, we explore the origins of the fairy changeling lore by examining some real-life changelings (i.e., cowbirds and cuckoos). Read on for a fanciful new take on folk stories as they relate to nesting biology.

2 thoughts on “Cowbirds, cuckoos and changeling stories

  1. Pingback: American cowbirds, polygamy and monogamy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Cowbirds, yellow warblers and red-winged blackbirds, research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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