In Defense of the Cowbird with Sarah Winnicki
February 4, 2021
Pity the poor cowbird. Under-appreciated at best and outright hated at worst, the cowbird and its nest parasitic ways certain lend themselves to strong opinions. But it is a remarkable bird in its own right, capable of amazing developmental feats that allow it to fit into its very odd niche. Ornithologist Sarah Winnicki of the University of Illinois’s “cowbird lab” makes the case for cowbirds, arguing that you don’t have to love them, but you should respect them.
Also, a Snowy Owl in Central Park? Uh oh. And another Pileated Woodpecker story from listener Jordan Leahy.
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The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond.
Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.
Great podcast! Most of the folks I know that have a negative view of cowbirds is because of impacts on eastern songbird populations, not because of an anthropomorphic view of their parenting strategy. I understand cowbirds are not the threat to Kirtland’s warbler they once were? Seems like a great topic for a follow up podcast!
[…] about cowbirds and why to celebrate rather than vilify them. Here’s an episode of the American Birding Association Podcast where Sarah Winnicki from the CowBirdLab at the University of Illinois speaks in defense of the […]