Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 66

Thread: Help with Bird Eggs

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Help with Bird Eggs

    Ok, ladies... This nest started off with 5 eggs (2 of them the speckled ones). Then there were 4 (one on the sidewalk broken). They are in a hanging fern so I have no idea how that egg got on the ground unless one of the parents threw it out. Anyway, 2 days later there were 5 eggs again. Now today there are 6! I've seen the finches that frequent this nest. According to my book House Finches lay 2 to 5 eggs that are light blue. Is there such thing as birds sharing a nest or is this mama just over zealous and what about the speckled eggs? Should her mate consider DNA testing? I know there are some avid bird people here at DD and I just can't keep looking at that nest without some answers of some sort. :O/

    Condo?.jpg
    ~Kelly




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    7,114
    Oh my, the great mysteries of life. But, seriously, I never thought about different colored eggs from the same bird, or that they could be laid on different days-I thought they all hatched about the same time?
    Love the photo, by the way!!
    Valerie

    Imagine the possibilities...and Happy, Happy, Happy!
    PSE12

  3. #3
    Well, as usual, as soon as I give up and post for help I find the answer. What stinkers!

    The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a brood parasite, meaning that it lays its eggs in nests of other species. A female cowbird quietly searches for female birds of other species that are actively laying eggs. Once she has found a suitable host, the cowbird will sneak onto the resident bird?s nest when it is away, usually damage or remove one (or more) egg, and replace that egg with one (or more) of her own (watch a cowbird laying an egg in a Northern Cardinal nest on NestCams). The foster parents then unknowingly raise the young cowbirds, usually at the expense of their own offspring. Cowbird eggs require a shorter incubation period than most other songbirds and thus usually hatch first. Cowbird nestlings also grow large very quickly. These advantages allow them to command the most food from their foster parents, usually resulting in reduced nesting success of the host species.
    Some species, such as the Yellow Warbler, can recognize cowbird eggs and will reject them or build a new nest on top of them. Those species which accept cowbird eggs either do not notice the new eggs, or as new evidence suggests, accept them as a defense against total nest destruction. Cowbirds may ?punish? egg-rejectors by destroying the entire nest, whereas it is possible for egg-acceptors to raise some of their own young in addition to the cowbird young
    ~Kelly




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    A rural city in Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    20,331
    Heavens! What great detective work Kelly! It will be extra interesting for you to watch these fledgelings hatch and see whether the original inhabitants come out second best.
    Camera: Canon 7D, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus TG2 (point and shoot)
    Lenses (for the 7D): Tamron F2.8 28-75mm, Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4
    Software: CS6.0, LightRoom 5, ACDSee 14
    Platform: PC
    My blog: snippets


  5. #5
    Or it will make me angry, Esther. lol I'd get rid of those two eggs right now if there wasn't a chance that the bird would come back and destroy the whole nest. I'll try to keep a scientific mind for this one.
    ~Kelly




  6. #6
    Oh my gosh Kelly.....I would have never known about this. We have tons of birds, but very rarely find the nests. I will be interested to see what happens.
    Pam



    My Stuff: Nikon D80, Nikkor 50 mm 1.4, Nikkor 18 - 135mm, Nikkor 80 - 200mm, Speedlight SB-600 and my Epiphanie Lola Camera Bag!
    Software: Dell Studio XPS, PSE 11 and Bamboo Fun

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    A rural city in Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    20,331
    We have wattle birds who must nest high in the tree in our back yard. We also have a nest box in the tree, but in 10 years it has NEVER had a nest in it. I have watched many beautiful rosellas visit the box and consider it and then I have watched wattle birds are so territorial that they mercilessly chase away every would-be-nester. Makes me cross, too!
    Camera: Canon 7D, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus TG2 (point and shoot)
    Lenses (for the 7D): Tamron F2.8 28-75mm, Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4
    Software: CS6.0, LightRoom 5, ACDSee 14
    Platform: PC
    My blog: snippets


  8. #8
    What a story! Kelly I knew you wouldn't like that one bit. Hard to believe things like this exist in nature!
    Amy

    my gallery

    My stuff: Nikon D700; Nikkor f2.8 24-70mm, f2.8 105mm, and f1.4 50 mm lenses; Tamron f2.8 70-200; Photoshop CC, Lightroom, iMac, MacBook

    DDblinkie! photo DDblinkie_zps0593abf9.gif

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Amy L View Post
    Hard to believe this like this exist in nature!
    I know! I understand "the circle of life" and all, but bully birds??? Hermes and I just got back from a walk where we spotted 3 of these bullies. With 2 of those eggs there is no way anything will survive in that nest except for them. Do I dare take them out one at a time later when the female is on the nest for longer periods of time?
    ~Kelly




  10. Who knew so much drama in the nest!! Thanks for the explanation
    Francine

    My Gallery

    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
    Gear: Nikon D50 w/28-80 mm, 70-300 Tamron lenses
    Lightroom 3

  11. #11
    Wow! A soap opera in the bird world. Who knew?!
    Lynn (also known as Lynnie!)


  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by grandma lynnie View Post
    Wow! A soap opera in the bird world. Who knew?!
    I was just thinking the same thing! Kelly, you have your own Peyton Place (I know I'm dating myself!) in your backyard. You know you must scrap this!
    Linda

    My gear: Nikon D700; 24-70mm 2.8; 70-200mm 2.8; 105mm 2.8; 50mm 1.4; 150-500mm 5-6.3
    My software: Photoshop CC on a PC; Lightroom 5.2; ACDSee 17

     photo blink1_zps1b48dedb.gif DDblinkie! photo DDblinkie_zps0593abf9.gif

  13. This is all new to me. I don't like the idea of the bully birds! Guess no species is exempt from bullies!
    Patsy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    A rural city in Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    20,331
    I just read on Wikipedia that Brown-headed Cowbird females can lay 36 eggs in a season - all in other birds' nests. They are disgraceful!
    Camera: Canon 7D, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus TG2 (point and shoot)
    Lenses (for the 7D): Tamron F2.8 28-75mm, Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4
    Software: CS6.0, LightRoom 5, ACDSee 14
    Platform: PC
    My blog: snippets


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by esther_a View Post
    I just read on Wikipedia that Brown-headed Cowbird females can lay 36 eggs in a season - all in other birds' nests. They are disgraceful!
    Yes! And all of this causes problems with other species being significantly fewer in number.
    OMGosh, I just told my friend I am NOT going to stress over birds! I'm not, I'm not, I'm not! lol

    There is no way that 6 birds are going to fit in that nest and that's even if she doesn't lay a 7th by tomorrow. House Finches lay one egg a day up to 5 so I've read. She's laid 6 now since the first one got dumped on the walk. Connie, will blue jays wreck the nest like cowbirds will. I could always just tell myself it was a blue jay and take those suckers out guilt free. :O)
    ~Kelly




  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Tucson and Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    15,257
    Quote Originally Posted by mugsbigsis View Post
    Yes! And all of this causes problems with other species being significantly fewer in number.
    OMGosh, I just told my friend I am NOT going to stress over birds! I'm not, I'm not, I'm not! lol

    There is no way that 6 birds are going to fit in that nest and that's even if she doesn't lay a 7th by tomorrow. House Finches lay one egg a day up to 5 so I've read. She's laid 6 now since the first one got dumped on the walk. Connie, will blue jays wreck the nest like cowbirds will. I could always just tell myself it was a blue jay and take those suckers out guilt free. :O)
    This would be ME! I would be stressing over the whole thing. Apparently, where a bird chooses to build its nest is very important. The robin's nest we have is so hidden, that I never would have noticed it, had a piece of the eggshell not dropped onto the porch. Because it is so high up, I can only get photos of the mother. Hopefully once the chicks get bigger, I'll get more.
    Joanne



    My Gallery

    Camera: Canon 6D
    Lens: Tamron SP 24-70mm
    Canon EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
    PSE 12 on a PC

  17. #17
    It's possible that the speckled eggs belong to a Blue Jay, they also will lay eggs in other species nest.
    Nikon D700
    Lens Nikon 24-70 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 60mm 2.8 macro, Flash SB600
    Dell PC, PSE5 and Wacom Bamboo fun

  18. I love reading about the habits of our feathered friends. Thanks for the info, Kelly. I don't like what the cowbirds do, though. Or the blue jays, Connie!
    Merrilee



    Mac computer/Adobe Creative Cloud: CS and Lightroom; SonyA57

  19. #19
    How interesting! It would be such fun to have a nest with eggs in a place so easy for you to watch - on the other hand, in this instance it can really cause trauma!! Keep us posted - it will be interesting to see how this turns out!
    Sharon
    **********
    aka - justbnsharon
    DDblinkie! photo DDblinkie_zps0593abf9.gif

  20. #20
    I've heard of this kind of thing in the bird kingdom, but never saw a nest with the evidence. I know the young birds are subject to attack by predators, birds and other species and once watched a cobra (in Thailand), high high up in a tree, eat young birds in a nest one by one as the mama bird shrieked. Nature isn't as peaceful as we often imagine it is.

    Kelly, I'd stop watching because I suspect what will happen won't be pretty.
    Maureen
    My Blog:Cooking My Life
    What do we live for if not to make life a little easier for someone?
    iPhone4Gs is my camera!/27" iMac/Macbook/Mavericks
    PSE11/LR5


  21. #21
    Darn cowbirds!! To give the others a fighting chance I think I might remove 1 and leave the other. Does the cow bird come back to check on her eggs! What a lazy bird!!! I did not know this kind of thing happened. This is also why I cant watch some of those nature shows, It doesn't seem fair! We will all be waiting for the next episode Kelly
    Kathryn~
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d65/digigrandma/doodlebanner1.gif

  22. #22
    I found this and I may go with removing one at least. I'm thinking I may not be hanging a fern at my front door next year. :O/

    Parasite response
    It seems that Brown-headed Cowbirds periodically check on their eggs and young after they have deposited them. Removal of the parasitic egg may trigger a retaliatory reaction termed "mafia behavior". According to a study by the Florida Museum of Natural History published in 1983, the cowbird returned to ransack the nests of a range of host species 56% of the time when their egg was removed. In addition, the cowbird also destroyed nests in a type of "farming behavior" to force the hosts to build new ones. The cowbirds then laid their eggs in the new nests 85% of the time.

    Human intervention
    Humans sometimes engage in cowbird control programs, with the intention of protecting species negatively impacted by the cowbirds' brood parasitism. A study of nests of Bell's Vireo highlighted a potential limitation of these control programs, demonstrating that removal of cowbirds from a site may create an unintended consequence of increasing cowbird productivity on that site, because with fewer cowbirds, fewer parasitized nests are deserted, resulting in greater nest success for cowbirds.
    ~Kelly




  23. #23
    Kelly, you know we're all tuning in each day for the bird soap opera -- will Kelly remove the egg? Will the cowbirds engage in Mafia behavior? How many baby birds will survive? Tune in tomorrow!
    Linda

    My gear: Nikon D700; 24-70mm 2.8; 70-200mm 2.8; 105mm 2.8; 50mm 1.4; 150-500mm 5-6.3
    My software: Photoshop CC on a PC; Lightroom 5.2; ACDSee 17

     photo blink1_zps1b48dedb.gif DDblinkie! photo DDblinkie_zps0593abf9.gif

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by earlofoxford View Post
    Kelly, you know we're all tuning in each day for the bird soap opera -- will Kelly remove the egg? Will the cowbirds engage in Mafia behavior? How many baby birds will survive? Tune in tomorrow!
    Hilarious Linda......and I worry that these bully birds are giving cows a bad name...LOL
    Pam



    My Stuff: Nikon D80, Nikkor 50 mm 1.4, Nikkor 18 - 135mm, Nikkor 80 - 200mm, Speedlight SB-600 and my Epiphanie Lola Camera Bag!
    Software: Dell Studio XPS, PSE 11 and Bamboo Fun

  25. #25
    OMGosh, Pam you're cracking me up.

    And then there were five . . . Linda, I couldn't stand it. I took one out. Let's hope the cowbird can't count for now. The only thing is, the mama watched me do it. I may have to wear a helmet from now on when I get near the nest. eek
    ~Kelly




  26. "Mafia behavior in the nest" - wow this is getting deep! My issue: I have loved the two beautiful brown owls in my front woods, they appear midafternoon each day now; but after reading they eat (among other things) small birds and chipmunks. So what do I do with the bird feeder in the front? I hate to think of what happens after dark...
    Francine

    My Gallery

    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
    Gear: Nikon D50 w/28-80 mm, 70-300 Tamron lenses
    Lightroom 3

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by digigal View Post
    "Mafia behavior in the nest" - wow this is getting deep! My issue: I have loved the two beautiful brown owls in my front woods, they appear midafternoon each day now; but after reading they eat (among other things) small birds and chipmunks. So what do I do with the bird feeder in the front? I hate to think of what happens after dark...
    You realize, of course, Francine, that by having a bird feeder in your front yard, you are aiding and abetting the slaughter of small birds and chipmunks. I think there's probably a government regulation against that. And if there's not, there probably will be soon.
    Linda

    My gear: Nikon D700; 24-70mm 2.8; 70-200mm 2.8; 105mm 2.8; 50mm 1.4; 150-500mm 5-6.3
    My software: Photoshop CC on a PC; Lightroom 5.2; ACDSee 17

     photo blink1_zps1b48dedb.gif DDblinkie! photo DDblinkie_zps0593abf9.gif

  28. Quote Originally Posted by earlofoxford View Post
    You realize, of course, Francine, that by having a bird feeder in your front yard, you are aiding and abetting the slaughter of small birds and chipmunks. I think there's probably a government regulation against that. And if there's not, there probably will be soon.
    Yikes! ROFL! Maybe they will give me slack for providing food and shelter for that pair of brown owls! whowho!
    Francine

    My Gallery

    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
    Gear: Nikon D50 w/28-80 mm, 70-300 Tamron lenses
    Lightroom 3

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by digigal View Post
    "Mafia behavior in the nest"
    Can't you picture the little grasshopper head that ends up in the nest?!

    I turned the fern so that I could maybe see better what happens as far as visitors and such and there was quite the fuss when the parents got back. Last year they made that nest right smack in the top of the fern. This year it is buried within the long leaves and is more difficult to see. I do hope between the two of them they can protect that nest. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

    parents.jpg
    ~Kelly




  30. #30
    We will tune in to see...Pam and Kelly you both gave me a good laugh!!
    Kathryn~
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d65/digigrandma/doodlebanner1.gif

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •