Cowbirds in Western Nevada
On May 30, 1938, I observed five cowbirds (Molothrus ater artemisiae), three males and two females, in a field on the old road to Verdi, about two miles west of the Reno (Nevada) city limits. They were watched with an 8 X 30 glass at a distance of fifty feet, for twenty minutes. Two males were conducting a sort of dance, with feathers ruffed at nape, in apparent courtship of one of the females. Had identification by the brown head of the males and the short stout bills not already been made, it would have been simple when a pair of Brewer Blackbirds alighted to feed with them.
This appears to be an unusual record for western Nevada. Jean Linsdale in “The Birds of Nevada” (Pac. Coast Avif. No. 23, 1936, p. 116) shows only one record for Washoe County, that of an adult male obtained by Ridgway at the Truckee reservation, on June 2, 1868.
Reno, Nevada, June 16, 1938