The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) name cowbird, first recorded in 1839, refers to this species often being seen near cattle. The male is iridescent black with a brown head. The female is slightly smaller and is dull grey with a pale throat and very fine streaking on the underparts. The Brown-headed Cowbird is North America’s most common brood parasite. The female cowbird lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species, who then raise the young cowbirds.