Shiny Cowbird

Shiny cowbird

Shiny Cowbirds males are glossy dark velvety purple all over, but from a distance, they can look black. Females are brown and look similar to female Brown-headed cowbirds.

  • Molothrus bonariensis
  • Length: 7.1 in (18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (31-40 g)


Shiny Cowbirds are mainly found in South America, southern Central America, and the Caribbean, but they also live in Florida and along the southern coast of the US.

Habitat And Diet

They feed on insects, seeds, and grains from the ground in open areas. They will also hunt for insects in trees and will visit backyard feeders.

Shiny Cowbirds Sounds:

Low guttural croaks and high-pitched squeaks.


Shiny Cowbirds, like most cowbirds, do not build nests and instead lay their eggs in the nests of other species.

Fun Fact:

Shiny Cowbirds will lay their eggs before the host lays so that their chicks are born first and grow stronger before the host chick and become the only survivor.