Glossary Species Home
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
Flight call description The two primary flight calls are the "twitter song" and a flight whistle. The "twitter song" is a rapid jumble of musical notes usually preceded by one or two rising whistles. The flight whistle is a short rising "tseeee". Other calls which may be given in flight include a rattle call (Jaramillo and Burke, 1999), a soft "chuck" call (Jaramillo and Burke, 1999), and the gurgle-whistle song, "glug-glug-di-di-di".
Fig.1. Florida June 6, 2001 (WRE).
"Twitter song" from perched bird.
Fig.2. Florida June 6, 2001 (WRE).
Gurgle-whistle song from perched bird.
Fig.3. Florida June 6, 2001 (WRE).
Flight whistle from perched bird.
Similar species Rattle call similar to Brown-headed Cowbird's but slower and more metallic (Sibley 2000). Gurgle-whistle song similar to Brown-headed's but ending with distinctly separate musical notes. See Brown-headed and Bronzed Cowbirds.
Behavior Migratory behavior presumably similar to Brown-headed Cowbird's. The "twitter song" and flight whistle are given by perched and flying birds. Based on the behavior of Brown-headed Cowbird, the "chuck" and rattle are presumed to be given in flight. Not known to give calls at night.