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The Cowbird in Western Oregon

Vernon E. Thatcher
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
55
Issue: 
6 (November-December)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1953
Pages: 
318

The Cowbird in Western Oregon.-On July 11,1950, a fully fledged immature of the Brownheaded Cowbird (Molothrus ater) was collected in Medford, Jackson County, Oregon. This apparently represents the only record of this bird west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon since Jewett reported the first one from Lane County in 1925 (Condor, 32, 1930:124). Jewett regarded his specimen, which was also immature, as a straggler from the dry Upper Sonoran areas of eastern Oregon. At the time the present bird was taken, a female of one of the wood warblers was seen attempting to feed her over-sized dependent: The warbler, unfortunately, left the scene before positive identification could be made. Even though the cowbird had flown from the nest, this constitutes a breeding record of the species for the Rogue River Valley.

It seems that this part of western Oregon could well meet the habitat requirements of the cowbird. If a sufficient number of individuals succeed in crossing the mountain barrier, they will probably be able to establiih themselves. It is even possible that thii has already occurred.-VERNON E. THATCHER, Department of Zoology, Oregon State Colkge, Corvdlis, Oregon, April 9, 1953. 

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