I relocated 3 on 12/12/18, 12/15 (with Eamon Harrity of Moscow), and 12/20. Other birders reported them in lae December and early January.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
University of Idaho Sheep Farm, near Farm Road and West A Street in northwest Moscow (Latah Co.)
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Livestock pens adjacent to Palouse prairie wheat fields
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, later the same day
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
No, not at all
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
eBird notes (verbatim) from notes taken at the time of observation on 12/9: "Small compact blackbirds with short tails and short conical bills. Probably smaller than RWBL with much thicker conical bills. Shorter tailed and more slender-bodies than Brewer's with shorter more conical bills. Dull gray-brown. A bit pale and slightly mottled on some of their heads."
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Foraging in sheep pens with many house sparrows, starlings, sometimes Brewer's Blackbirds, and on one day some RWBL.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
The more compact, slender, and short tailed structure separated them from Brewer's Blackbird (typically the only true blackbird expectable at this season). Heavy conical bills and drab gray-brown plumage separated them from red-winged Blackbirds
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Extensive with Brown-headed Cowbird and other regular icterids and starling.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
~18 years of birding heavily
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
eBird checklists including photos are at the following links. I will email copies of select photos to the IBRC:
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos support identification of Brown-headed Cowbird.
Well documented with description and photos - eliminating Brewer's and Red-winged Blackbirds
Photos are diagnostic.
Without a doubt these were Brown-headed Cowbirds.
Photographs and description are good.
well described and diagnostic photos
Good, comparative description, particularly of structure, accompanied by diagnostic photos, make this any easy one. Tough to say, bu good birds..