cowbird

noun
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 Researchers studying yellow warbler responses to the parasitic cowbird realized that red-winged blackbirds were eavesdropping and reacting too. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Red-winged Blackbirds Understand Yellow Warbler Alarms," 13 Apr. 2020 Federal and state officials, for example, have broken the necks of thousands of cowbirds to save the warbler, a songbird once on the brink of extinction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," 14 Oct. 2019 According to Audubon, their open nests are easy to find with cowbirds often laying eggs in them. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Audubon turns east side park into a haven for bird watchers," 3 Sep. 2019 Federal and state officials, for example, have broken the necks of thousands of cowbirds to save the warbler, a songbird once on the brink of extinction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," 14 Oct. 2019 Federal and state officials, for example, have broken the necks of thousands of cowbirds to save the warbler, a songbird once on the brink of extinction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," 14 Oct. 2019 The one-two punch of fire suppression and cowbird parasitism drove Kirtland's numbers down. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "North America’s Rarest Warbler Comes Off the Endangered List," 11 Oct. 2019 Federal and state officials, for example, have broken the necks of thousands of cowbirds to save the warbler, a songbird once on the brink of extinction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," 14 Oct. 2019 Federal and state officials, for example, have broken the necks of thousands of cowbirds to save the warbler, a songbird once on the brink of extinction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," 14 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cowbird

Time Traveler

The first known use of cowbird was in 1810

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Cite this Entry

“Cowbird.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cowbird. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for cowbird

cowbird

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cowbird

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

cowbird

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cowbird

Comments on cowbird

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