The Bad Habits of Cowbirds

September 29, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

Cowbirds have an unusual life strategy: they lay their eggs in other birds species‘ nests. North America’s Brown-headed Cowbird first evolved this strategy in order to follow herds of buffalo. The cowbirds fed on insects flushed up by the buffalo’s feet. As the buffalo migrated around the Great Plains, the cowbirds followed- even during the birds’ breeding season. If the cowbirds took care of nests, they couldn’t follow the buffalo. So they left their eggs behind in other songbirds’ nests.

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Strange Birds: Hoatzins

August 21, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

The hoatzin is one of the world’s strangest bird species – its chicks possess claws on the leading edge of their wings!

Hoatzins live in South American tropical rain forests. These chicken-sized birds spend their time clambering through the trees that hang over slow-moving rivers.

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