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The temporal and geographic patterns in the population trends of Brown-headed Cowbirds are summarized from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. During 1966-1992, the survey-wide population declined significantly, a result of declining populations in the Eastern BBS Region, southern Great Plains, and the Pacific coast states. Increasing populations were most evident in the northern Great Plains. Cowbird populations were generally stable or increasing during 1966-1976, but their trends became more negative after 1976. The trends in cowbird populations were generally directly correlated with the trends of both host and nonhost species, suggesting that large-scale factors such as changing weather patterns, land use practices, or habitat availability were responsible for the observed temporal and geographic patterns in the trends of cowbirds and their hosts.
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Temporal and geographic patterns in population trends of brown-headed cowbirds