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Description

This is a New World passerine bird of the Icteridae Family located in South America in Rain and Cloud forests. Like most cowbirds it has a "parasitic" breeding behavior. The male is all black with an iridescent purple-blue gloss, while the female is dark brown, paler on the underparts, as is the chick during the juvenile period. Contrary to what one might think, the term "parasitic" refers to "biologically parasitism", not precisely related to human behavior. By this mechanism Nature do two things: first the control of populations of some small birds that behave as the hosts birds and in second place give a chance to these cowbirds to save energy to be able to survive. The rest in the video images.

About the video

First sequence: what seems to be a happy cowbird family feeding together with some friends, is not the case. Here we have two males, a female and a chick accompanied by a Rufous-collared Sparrow, all of them sharing a seed eating ground under a tree. The only way to know if the three cowbirds are familiy would be a DNA analysis but probably they would not be closely related. The Rufous-collared Sparrow and the Ochre-breasted Brush-Finch that appear on the next shots are among the preferred species to be parasitized by the cowbirds. Male and female only meet to copulate, then the female chooses a nest where the host bird has just laid her eggs and throws out the eggs of the host (2 to four) far from it and lays its own. The egg is much more bigger and the development is synchronized with the time scale of the host's eggs. The host accepts the egg as its own even if it is different in color and size to her's and continues with the breeding task as we can see in the images, first we see the Sparrow feeding a 2 day old chick and later a 4 day old chick, in this case accompanied by a helper, usually a chick from a previous brood that do not reproduce for one or two years to help the mother that carries alone the task of reproduction. The final shots show a Finch feeding a -much bigger that her- chick that already feeds on his own, just a few hours away to fend for himself.

In the animal world there are neither fairy tales nor soap operas, just an equilibrium between species attained during 500 years of Evolution, something that most people still is not able to understand and that Evolution seems to have taken off from mankind, leading man to what will be his own destruction.

Nothing compares to the look and majestuosity of a wild animal. Lets keep them where do they belong.