cow·​bird | \ ˈkau̇-ˌbərd How to pronounce cowbird (audio) \

Definition of cowbird

: any of a genus (Molothrus of the family Icteridae) of New World blackbirds that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds especially : brown-headed cowbird

Examples of cowbird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the cowbird eggs managed to crack their hosts’ eggs about 10 times as often. Erica Tennenhouse, Science | AAAS, "Cowbird eggshells could double as deadly weapons," 8 May 2018 Bronzed cowbirds, metallic black with eyes and otherworldly red. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "For hunters, South Texas colors a feast for the senses," 3 May 2018 Last year, Wildlife Services reported intentionally killing 12,119 coyotes with M-44s, along with four feral dogs, nearly 1,000 foxes and 12,000 cowbirds. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Cyanide 'bombs' used to kill coyotes, foxes under review by federal officials," 28 Apr. 2018 Decoys or food lure cowbirds inside, where they're euthanized. John Flesher, Fox News, "Feds propose dropping songbird from endangered species list," 11 Apr. 2018 The red-wingeds won’t stay too long, but some cowbirds will linger in your neighborhood. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Watch for the annual visit by red-winged blackbirds | Charlotte Observer," 16 Feb. 2018 Such brood parasitism has arisen independently at least three times, in the groups known as cuckoos, cowbirds and honeyguides. The Economist, "Convergent evolutionThicker eggshells help cuckoos hatch earlier than their nestmates," 18 Jan. 2018 By planting new young jack pine forest and implementing a cowbird removal program, conservation managers helped the warblers begin to recover their numbers. Wendy Mitman Clarke, Smithsonian, "Scientists Track, For the First Time, One of the Rarest Songbirds on Its Yearlong Migration," 6 Mar. 2017 Another potential victim for the cowbird. 9: American goldfinches frolicking in the small trees along the fairway. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "18 holes of golf yield 18 observations of birds," 9 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cowbird.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cowbird

1810, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near cowbird






cowboy boot

cowboy hat

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The first known use of cowbird was in 1810

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English Language Learners Definition of cowbird

: a brown and black North American bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds


cow·​bird | \ ˈkau̇-ˌbərd How to pronounce cowbird (audio) \

Kids Definition of cowbird

: a small North American blackbird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds

More from Merriam-Webster on cowbird

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cowbird Encyclopedia article about cowbird

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