We video-recorded three, natural, brood-parasitism events by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) at nests of Least Bell's Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus). All instances occurred near dawn, during both egg-laying and incubation stages of the nesting cycle. In each case, an adult vireo was on the nest when the female cowbird arrived. Both members of each parasitized pair vigorously attacked the intruding cowbird, but in no encounter did a pair of vireos successfully defend its nest from parasitism. Thus, Least Bell's Vireos in our study were unable to prevent a female cowbird from parasitizing their nests once the cowbird had reached the nest.
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