Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)


Bronze-brown Cowbird (Molothrus armenti)


French: Vacher brun German: Zwergkuhstärling Spanish: Tordo chico

M[olothrus]. armenti


, 1851,

Cartagena, Colombia


Often considered conspecific with M. aeneus, but shows reduced sexual dichromatism and also differs vocally. Monotypic.


Caribbean coast of N Colombia (N Bolívar, Atlántico and Magdalena).

Descriptive notes

Male 18·6 cm, average 40·8 g; female 16 cm, average 30·7 g. A small cowbird with neck ruff. Male has head, back and underparts dark sepia with strong coppery iridescence,... read more


Male song during display an ascending, high-pitched “eez-eez-dzleeee”, with rasping or glassy tone... read more


Occupies dry woodland with Prosopis juliflora, Acacia farnesiana and arborescent... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet probably mostly arthropods and seeds; frequents farms and barnyards, and feeds on chicken food. Forages mostly on... read more


Season May–Jul; fledged chicks seen in Jul. In “Song Spread” display, male lowers head, raises body feathers and spreads wings and tail... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Classified as “endangered” in Colombia. Little known. Extremely local, and total population must be small. An old report from Leticia (Amazonian Colombia) is... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Bronze-brown Cowbird (Molothrus armenti). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).