Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Storm 12/19/09

We had quite a storm, around 13" of snow! All three of my web cams were busy, which limited my web site updates. I am not complaining, this is the kind of problem that I like! My weather site had 75 unique visitors, the most ever, not counting the time that I accidentally hijacked The Weather Underground radar. :) So I thought that I would post some of the snow pics. First off, here is a shot of the feeders from the web cam. Unfortunately, there no birds at the time. Here is a mocker, some finch, goldfinch, another, and a chickadee. I have been looking for juncos since it started to get cold. Some people call these snow birds, guess I know why! This is a shot of the driveway, from the web cam. The doves don't seem to mind the snow. This is a shot from my window, you can see the snow covering the birdcam in the lower left. I saw this downy today, while I was outside without my camera. Luckily, he came back. Here is a nice pic from the Wingscapes camera. Finally, I sort of like this pic, she looks lonely.

Edit- I wasn't happy with the pics from my window. I zoomed in on the downy. The goldfinch didn't get much better, though.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Birdcam 2.0

Wow, I did not realize how long it has been since the last post! But there is news. Wingscapes announced two new bird cams, The Audubon, and Birdcam 2.0 The specs on Audonbon sound close to the original Birdcam.
The original, what I use, high res is 2048 X 1536.

The Audubon:
WSCA03 Audubon BirdCam High 2560x1920, Med 1600x1200, Low 800x600. Video Format AVI files, 640x480

The Birdcam 2.0 has higher resolution, and adds a flash.
WSCA02 BirdCam 2.0 Photo Format High 3264x2448, Med 2024x1536, Low 1024x768 Video Format is the same.

Unfortunately, the one thing that I was hoping for, a rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack, was left out. The new cameras use the same as mine, (4) "D" size batteries. These are big, bulky, heavy, a pain to replace and not "green". Wingscapes does not recommend re-chargeable batteries, but I use 12,000 mAh re-chargeable, and they work fine. These are pricey, but they pay for themselves.

If you are interested in one of these Birdcams, search Google Products for the best price. They are much cheaper than what the Wingscapes site advertises. Also, I would recommend buying the mounting arm.

Here are some of my recent pics. Wish I could lose these guys. Last year I saw a lot of goldfinch. This year, not as many, but they do show up. I like chickadees, and I feel sorry this guy. Where is all the food? This is the first mocker that I have seen this season. And finally, the first carolina wren.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We had rain four days in a row, so I didn't change the memory card in the bird cam. There were 830 pics on the card when I checked it today. This didn't even make one GB, only 628 MB. I would really hate to fill that 4 GB card! Unfortunately, when I checked the pics, most of them were blurry from all the rain that we had. Of course the platform feeders were filled with mush. I washed them out, and washed the tube feeder in hot water and vinegar. If you are curious about how much rain we had, here is a rain chart for New Holland.

The forecast on Friday mentioned a chance of snow, and today we have a freeze warning, so I replaced the birdbath with the one that has a built in heater. This is the middle of October, right??

The other day I had a birder moment. I went walking around the corner, towards the tube feeder, and saw a male HOFI sitting on the perch. I stopped within ten feet of him, and he just sat there looking at me. I whistled at him, and he chirped back at me. We repeated this routine a few times, I whistle to him, he chirps back. After a bit, I smiled and decided to let him be. I feel like a hypocrite! I do not wish for them to get too used to people, but I do enjoy when they let me get close, and even feel like I am interacting with them. I often whistle to the chickadees, and they always seem to respond. Guess this is the payback that we get.

Since I am feeling chatty... when I saw this chickadee, it reminded me of how my uncle used to entertain us as kids. He would look through magazines for pictures, then draw a chick into the picture. This chickadee looked like one that he would have drawn. He was an artist, and my mom claims that he painted chicks into all of his paintings. I thought that he only started that in his later work. I have several of his paintings, and I can't find one chick. Sadly, he isn't around to ask anymore.

Sundays are usually pretty laid back for me, and I like to watch the tube feeder. I saw this female cardinal, a chickadee, the ever present HOSP, HOFI and doves.

This male downy kept showing up at the hanging platform feeder. I still see no activity at the suet feeder. I swapped out the suet twice, thinking they didn't like what I was offering. Perhaps the downys only eat suet when it gets cold?

So here are some pics from the platform feeder. Doves are almost always present, along with HOSP. I started out seeing a couple of starlings, but more and more kept showing up. That shot is blurry from all the rain. I had bought some peanuts for the squirrel under glass, but the squirrels refused to go into it, so I started putting the peanuts in the platform feeder. The jays love them! Here is one holding a peanut. They usually grab a peanut and fly off, but here is one tearing a peanut open.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


As a follow up to last month, hanging the hummer feeders from the tree did not work. When I went to check them, they were filled with bees. Apparently, the bees could get in, but they could not get back out. That is it for these feeders. They look nice, but they do not work.

Before I moved the Bushnell Birdcam away from the birdbath, I caught one last pic of the swim party. I also moved the Wingscapes Birdcam. Looking through the pics from that camera, the only interesting ones were this one of the female cardinal and one of a nuthatch. The cardinal looks younger than the one that I had been seeing. I have been wondering all summer if there were two, but I still do not know for sure.

It is getting to be that time of year again, so I put the suet feeder back up. Last year I didn't get as much activity as years past, so I moved it back to where it used to be, which is near the tube feeder. So I checked the suet feeder today and saw no sign of activity. Later, I was looking at the web cam and spotted this downy. I have seen them at a seed feeder before, but hey!, the suet feeder is close by!

Finally, I saw this link on Birdchat, Sure They Sing but did You Know They Compose? I thought it was pretty good!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tube Feeder Back in Place

Well, the vegetable oil did not work as an ant trap. So I got some stiff wire, wrapped it around the mouth of the feeders and hung them from a tree branch. They look nice, but I still have not seen any hummers. Very frustrating! This is the second year, I don't think I'll be trying again next year.

The birds never seemed to like the new feeder too much, so I put the tube feeder back up. Of course it did not take Skip long to notice! He sent me this photo, said that I finally got the focus right. The thing with the focus is, I can either take my notebook outside and try to see it in direct light, or I can stand on a step stool and peer through the window at my monitor. Neither way works well. In other words, I got lucky with the focus. I was watching the web cam for a bit today, I saw a goldfinch, a chickadee and lots of HOSP and HOFI. I had to laugh, there was a male HOSP playing king of the hill, chasing off any other bird that landed. After a bit he got tired of it and flew off.

Looking through my recent pics from the bird cams, I saw this pair of jays. This pic shows that the bird bath is getting popular again. I am not sure, is this a juvenile male HOSP? And, what is this? And finally, this cam isn't the greatest, but it caught me on the porch.

Note, to view the web cam, go here Sign in with nhpa and the pass is birder

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winding Down

It is hard to believe that this is the end of August! Since the grackles left, I started filling the fly through feeder, put the hanging feeder up and changed the counter weight on the anti-grackle feeder to allow all birds. It didn't take long for the doves and blue jays to notice the counter weight change.

I really haven't been getting many pics from birdbath, but here are a couple. This is a un-bird visitor, and what the heck is this dove looking at? There were a couple more pics of this dove looking into the water, so there must have been something down there.

Today when I walked out to the feeder, all I saw was wings, as a million doves flew off! Guess they like that I am filling their feeders again. I saw something fly away from the hummer feeder. I am pretty sure that it was a chickadee, since they like to drink out of the ant trap. Speaking of ant traps, someone said that ants will not cross vegetable oil. I plan to buy some this week and test that. Since the hummer's Fall migration has started, I will put those new hummer feeders back up. They are the ones that stick in the ground and look real cool to me. That is important, since I never see any hummers.

Finally, here is another 'awe moment'.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I re-pointed both the Birdcam, and web cam at the new feeder. Since it is in shadow most of the time, and with the overhang on the feeder, it makes for poor photography. I lightend (is that a word?) the web cam for viewing, and it is mostly OK. The feeder is getting more visitors than the caged feeder, but still not as much as I had hoped. Maybe it will take them awhile. Skip sent me a pic of the female cardinal from the web cam, and here is one from the Birdcam. Here are a chickadee and a goldfinch from the Birdcam. As you can see, the Birdcam doesn't work well at this feeder. So I moved this camera to the new birdbath. After a couple of days I realized something- the birds are not using the new birdbath! I can think of a few of reasons:
One- The grackles left.
Two- The water level may be too deep.
Three- We have been getting a lot of rain lately.
I started to put only one gallon in the bath, so we will see if that helps. A did see a visitor at the birdbath. This is from the other Birdcam, you can see the birdbath in the background. Also, I don't think this attempt was very successful.

And finally, I never get tired of looking at the male and female cardinals!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caged Feeder

My birdbath has a built in heater, so it doesn't freeze over the winter. The problem is, it holds less than a gallon of water, and by the end of the day the grackles splash it all out. I was looking for one that holds more, plus one with a solar fountain. The best price I could find was for the Portsmouth Solar Bird Bath Fountain at, for $109.98 . I found a $10.00 off coupon, and with the free shipping, my total was $99.98. I just looked at this site now, seems like their price has gone up. You can still find coupons, though, here is one page. Before I bought one, I looked at the comments people left for it. The main complaint was, it doesn't hold water?? I suspect these people never had a birdbath before, because I clean and fill my birdbath everyday, as you should. The second complaint was, it has to be in direct sunlight. I can confirm this, it is because the solar panel is submerged. The only solution is to have a separate panel which you stick in the ground- something to move before mowing! No thanks. So I am happy with mine. One other thing, it claims to hold two gallons of water, but holds less than that.

The other night I was sitting the living room, talking on the telephone. I saw a series of flashes which lit up a corner of my bookshelf. What in the world? I looked outside, but saw nothing. The next day, I checked the memory card and saw the cause. This is the first that I have seen any of these at my house.

Speaking of the caged feeder, I can't say that I am all that pleased with it. The birds don't seem to use it much, and it is not designed well. You have to take it apart to clean the bottom, and the cage is held on with metal flaps. This is not going to hold up to repeated cleanings. I believe this is a Duncraft exclusive. They can keep it. The goldfinch do use it, and lately, chickadees, too.

I do like the Heritage feeder. This blue jay has figured out how to beat it. It flaps it's wings so the feeder does not close off. I've seen it do this a number of times. I hope it doesn't teach the grackles! Lately I have seen robins in my yard, and I think it is because there aren't nearly as many grackles. So, I decided to buy another Heritage feeder, to replace the caged feeder. I bought the first one through Amazon, but decided to buy directly from Ace Hardware Outlet, and save a bit. My total price was $54.10. One final pic. Hey you closed it off, no, you!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have been cleaning and filling hummingbird feeders for one and a half seasons, and I still have not seen one! So, I thought I would try something different. HummZinger are the most recommended feeder, so I bought a HummZinger Mini. This takes one cup of nectar, which is easy to make, without having to store any. I don't waste so much nectar this way. In a moment of weakness, I also bought a couple of Habita MiniBlossom Hummingbird Feeder Folklore Blue Leaf on Stake by PARASOL These look nice in with my bushes, but unfortunately, they got covered with ants. PARASOL also makes hanging feeders, which you could use with ant traps. I don't know of a way to add an ant trap to the ones that I have.

I do not see the squirrel anymore, so this may be the last bungee video. If I see it return, I will try for more.

I really do not wish to feed grackles, so I bought a new feeder. It is a Heritage Farms 7533 Absolute Bird Feeder, which I bought through Amazon for $54.75. This is similar to the feeder which I had before, but that perch was kept open with a spring, while the new one is balanced. The spring on the old one closed halfway easily, but took more weight to close it off. In other words, it did not work for grackles. Here are a couple of shots of the new one, open with a cardinal, and closed by a grackle. The tube feeder did not work real well, either. I tried a number of times to adjust the setting for grackles, some times it worked, some times it did not. So I replaced it with the caged feeder. A goldfinch was the first to try it out, the wind has it blown sideways.

With these efforts, the number of grackles has dropped off quite a bit. They still hang around underneath the new feeder, waiting for a smaller bird to drop some seeds. After the grackles leave, I will probably put the tube feeder back up, and start putting feed in the fly through.

Yesterday, while I was mowing the yard, I saw the barn swallows flying around me. This is the first that I saw them this year, I wondered where they were. I counted six of them, and they did not buzz me, never getting within ten feet. Last year I almost dove off the mower when one got within a couple feet. When they are going that fast, and coming right at you, it is quite an experience!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Squirrel Bungee

OK, off topic, but I have been waiting for what, six months for this? I finally have a bouncie squirrel! I re-pointed the camera, and hope to get some better views, but these two will do for now! See video one and two.

I like the pictures with the cardinal pair, and this might be the best yet. Everybody go ahhhh.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bird Cam

This week I wanted to allow all access to the webcam, without needing a user name or pass. The webcam locked up, and I could not reset it. After spending lots of time on it, I finally got it back to where I started. It is very finicky, and I will NOT attempt this again. But it is working, see it here, login with nhpa and the pass is birder.

I always wait too long to update this, so I end up with too many pics, and I have to whiddle them down to a manageable amount. I did sort of want to get a video before I posted, and when I finally got it, it was of course disappointing! Anyway, I wanted to get a vid of the squirrel using the bungee. I did see it eating the corn under the bungee, but not trying to get any from the bungee. Now, you may wonder why there was corn on the ground, and here is why! While waiting for the vid, I saw a new visitor. I thought it was a grey catbird, but it didn't quite look right. Then I saw this video, and when I glimpsed the red rump, I knew that is what it is. Here is a pic for the slow connects. So here is the vid of the squirrel getting corn from the bungee. Disappointing, no? Well, now that it knows how to get more, I will raise it up and hope to catch a real bungee jumping squirrel!

While the grackles were hogging the feeders, the HOSP disappeared. I never thought that I would miss them, but I prefer them to grackles! I stopped filling the fly through feeder, and the number of grackles dropped off. Just as quickly as the HOSP left, they have returned. I bought a new feeder, one that the grackles could not get into. I have it up for a couple of weeks now, and I have seen zero activity. Oh well, when the goldfinch find it, I am sure it will be busy. Speaking of zero activity, I still have never seen any hummingbirds. It isn't as bad this year, since I am only cleaning and filling one feeder, compared to four last year.

I have a million pics of the cardinals, both together and separately. Here are my favs since the last post. Here is the pair. Three of the male, the first he looks like a parrot. The second and third. Two of the female, first and the second she almost looks like a different bird?

I am probably forgetting some, but it can wait for the next post, hopefully in two weeks... or less!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birdcam Comparison

I have had the Bushnell Birdcam long enough to give an evaluation. Do not buy it! How is that? The Wingscapes beats it in almost every way. With the price difference being down to less than $50, there really is no reason to buy the Bushnell. The only thing that the Bushnell has that the Wingscapes does not, is the flash. I do not try for nocturnal birds, so that really is not a plus. It does not work as a fill flash, either. Here is one of the cardinals using the flash, and this is one of the better ones. Here is a video from the Bushnell. I have to laugh at the HOSP hopping around near the end! Here is one of the better stills. This one of a goldfinch is the best video. When in direct sunlight, the Bushnell is capable. I moved the camera to point in a different direction, hopefully it will give better results. The worst part about the Bushnell? When you replace the batteries, it does not remember the settings for time, date, video or still, low or high res. Since it uses batteries quicker than the Wingscapes, that is a pain.

I did not see the grosbeak since the last post. Guess it was just passing through. That is the only new bird that I saw since putting up the fly through feeder. If I had this to do over, I would not have installed it. I never had such a problem with grackles! All I get is thousands of pics of grackles, with jays, mockers, doves, cowbirds and starlings. When I go to clean the birdbath at the end of the day, all the water is gone and there is a layer of mud. I think the grackles catch worms, then dip them to clean them off.

I did have a couple of incidents that stand out. A mocker landed about a few feet away from me. I looked at it and said, 'what are you doing?' So then it flew up onto the garage roof. I'm guessing, this is the same one from the last post. The other story, I came walking around the corner, to the tube feeder. All the birds flew off, as they always do, except a blue jay. It sat there and looked at me, then went back to feeding. I waited a bit, then told it to take a hike! And it did.

Anyway, wonder who won this standoff? One and two. Finally, is this a duck?

Friday, May 8, 2009


I cleaned the fly through feeder, and moved the birdcam to point to it. While I was finishing up, a mockingbird landed on the garage roof, and sat there patiently, watching me. As soon as I walked away, it flew into the feeder and commenced to make a racket! I figured that it was directed at me, since the feeder was still empty. Then another mocker landed aside the first, and they started fighting, while still making a ruckus. They flew into the tree, near the feeder, and continued to make a lot of noise and tussle. I no longer thought that they were fighting. :) I filled the feeder, but by then they had flown off. The next night I walked out to check the rain gage, and there was a mocker in the feeder. As soon as I got close, it started making that ruckus again, and flew off while still squawking. So, maybe it was directed at me the first time?

I bought my Wingscapes Birdcam in March of last year. It worked well until December. I contacted their customer service, and they shipped me another birdcam, with a postage paid box and label. I thought that this was pretty good service, but the one that they sent me had a problem, too. So, they sent me another. I had trouble with that one, too! I lost track, did they ship 2 or 3? I don't know. The audio is bad on this one. I do not know what to think, the camera worked perfectly for the first 3/4 of a year. I wonder if they do not check the cameras well enough when someone returns one? So, I thought about buying a new one. When I bought the first one, they were pretty much the same price on all online shops. But I noticed, suddenly you can find them for $150.00, $100 off! So now I am wondering, are they coming out with a new camera? I don't know.

Bushnell makes a birdcam version of their Trailcam. On paper, it sounded like a good camera. I searched for blogs with pics from this camera, but I could not find any. So I ordered one anyway! I have it in place for about three days, now. I have to say, I am sort of under whelmed. Here is a pic from the camera. It is sort of a tricky camera shot, but the Wingscapes has taken much better pics from there. Here are a couple, a bunch of grackles, and some HOSP amidst petals from the ornamental cherry tree. I plan to point the Bushnell at the birdbath, see how well it really works. I should mention, I received little information with this camera. I read somewhere that, one GB is the largest memory card that it can handle. I still do not no if that is true, since I did not take any chances, and ordered only a one GB card.

As I mentioned before, the new feeders attract a lot of undesirables. This one looks demonic! And I get a kazillion pics of grackles and starlings in both feeders. Guess I will have to do something about this. It does look comical, but does not appear to be going away.

I kept the best for last! When I saw the first pic of this guy, (and it is a guy,) I thought it was a downy. It had it's head down, and had it's back towards me. When I saw this pic, I realized this was a new visitor. Checking the guides, I can tell you, it is a rose breasted grosbeak. Grosbeak means, gross beak, literally. Look at the size of that thing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feeders Installed

Both of the covered platform feeders are now in place. I have to say, I like them both! I was worried about the large feeder being too heavy for the skimpy pole, but it is designed to be used on one. It comes with a compression mount, where you slip it on a one inch pole, and turn it tight. Very nice! Most feeders do not come with a mount. My only knock on this one is, it does not have a removable screen. Still, I would recommend them both. One thing about the ground feeder, it seems to attract more of the undesirable birds. Although I do like some, see the pic of HOSP in fog. I get tons of pics of cow birds and starlings, which I do not. On the other hand, I wouldn't see some birds without them.

I had a computer melt down, but I was able to pull my pics from it. I had a couple of the brown thrush, and I haven't seen it since, and I believe it moved on. I also had this chipping sparrow, pictured in the lower right. There are a pair of them in this pic.

It would be nice to see some hummingbirds this year, it is a pain to clean and fill their feeders. They should be seen here in April, according to this map.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Platform Feeders

I saw that the ground feeder was getting a lot of action, so I moved the Birdcam to point at it. One problem with the ground feeder, see it here. Not sure what to do about that.

I moved the platform feeder, from under the tree, to a pole mount. You can see it in the pic. The pic is from my Weathercam. Click on preset 5 to view the feeder. You can also see a hummingbird feeder in this pic. I was not going to put them up this year, since I saw zero hummingbird activity last year, but I decided to put up ONE feeder.

It was raining all day, so I amused myself by watching the web cam, log in- nhpa, pass- birder. The goldfinch, HOFI and HOSP were entertaining. I also saw both the male and female cardinals. Up until recently, I had never seen them together, but now I see this pretty regularly. I uploaded another video of them to utube. The audio is OK on this one, not that there is anything to hear!

Since it was raining all day, I got to thinking about the seed getting wet. The hanging feeder had a dome covering it. Neither of them are covered, now. So I decided to replace the feeders with covered ones. I found this one. Hope my skimpy pole can hold it! Also, I thought this ground feeder looked nice. Won't do anything for groundhogs, though.

edit- Since you need an ID to leave a comment, I put my email address in the info bar on right. Please do not hesitate to write!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Visitor

Last Sunday as you can see in the pic, we had a hailstorm. Pity the poor birds that cannot get out of the weather! I have fruit suet in the feeder pictured, hoping to attract robins. So far they haven't gone for it. I guess they have plenty of other food, now. They are around, I saw a number of them in the last week or so.

Here is a video of the female card. I uploaded it to utube, because I think the quality is better. Maybe it's me. A pic of her, for the bandwidth challenged. The gold is coming out in the goldfinch. I remember the first time I saw a pair of them. I did not know what they were, but their color sure made them stand out!

So I saw this new visitor in the yard. It hopped over to the squirrel bungee, and ate a piece of corn laying on the grass. It is larger than a wren, and it looks like a brown thrasher, but I really do not know what it is. Please leave a comment, if you know what it is.

My favorite bird forum is Garden Web. This moring I was getting the message, "Services for this domain have been discontinued". Whew! It is back now, had me worried!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Feeder Cam

At 8:30 PM last night, I shut down the power and went for a walk. I only saw a couple of dark houses, and I suspected, no one was at those places. There was a lot of traffic, main street seemed like rush hour! Clearly, few people in this piece of the world participated.

I was planning to move the web cam, but I noticed that the goldfinch are very active at the present spot. They are aggressive, too. I saw a HOSP attempt to land, and the goldfinch chased it off. If you wish to check it out, go here, and login with nhpa, with the pass, birder. nhpa1, and nhpa2 also work, using the same pass.

Some goldfinch from the birdcam, you can see their summer color filling in. A pic, and a vid.

The birdcam caught a video of a dark eyed junco. They are winter birds, so I doubt that I will be seeing them much longer. Here are videos of a chickadee, and a carolina wren. As I noted before, the female cardinal is popping up a lot lately. Her pic and a vid. And finally, something that I never caught before, the male and female, togther. Video only, sorry.

edit- I uploaded the cardinal vid to utube. Does it look better? Sorry about the soundtrack, that noise is distracting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 28th is Earth Hour

Just a quick note, this Saturday Earth Hour is observed, from 8:30 until 9:30 PM. See the video, show your support and join in.

"A global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change" Read more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some Vids

Last Sunday I was watching the tube feeder. The web cam is currently pointed at that feeder, but I hope to move it in the next couple of weeks. The weekend is a good time to watch that feeder, as there is not as much traffic on the road. I saw a dozen or so goldfinch fighting for perch space. Well, that at least answered the question, what are they eating? I have nothing but sunflower hearts in that feeder.

So I have a new visitor, but I am not sure what it is. I think that it is a song sparrow. Here are a couple of views, side view and another view. If you have broadband, here is a video.

All winter, I was lamenting the fact that I did not see the female cardinal. Lately, she has been showing up quite a bit, but I did not get great pics. Here is a video.

Not a fav, but a starling poses, and a video, with song! A titmouse, chickadee, and a dove all puffed up!

A nuthatch, and video, and another video. Here is a video of a pair of blue jays. And finally, since I was not able, until recently, to get a good pic of a dark eyed junco, here is a pic, and video.

Hope you enjoyed!

edit- in Picasa web, click on the magnifying glass icon to see the full size image.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am trying out a new location for the blog. If you have a preference, please leave a comment.

Here is a dark eyed junco eying the feeder, and it is a busy place! The male cardinal makes an appearance. I believe this is a nuthatch, hanging off the edge. A mocker, with a nice snowy backdrop.

The cowbirds are starting to show up. Unlike most of the other less than desirable birds, the cowbird is a native species. Cowbirds really are undesirables, too. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. The cowbird chicks generally hatch sooner than the others in the nests, giving them the advantage.

Well, this is a test post. Let me know what you think. If you happened here before seeing my original blog, you can see it here.