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hbvol50

Bluebird egg question

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I just checked my bluebird box and in addition to 4 pale blue eggs there is a pale blue egg covered with tiny brown specks.  Is this a blue bird egg or is it a cowbird or house sparrow egg??

I don't think cow birds could fit through the box entrance.  The odd egg is the same size and shape as the bluebird eggs

Edited by hbvol50

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On 5/23/2019 at 3:13 AM, tclarkwood said:

Glad you got rid of that cowbird egg!   Way to go! 

Curious what would happen if the cowbird egg remains there.

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10 hours ago, raxton said:

Curious what would happen if the cowbird egg remains there.

Cowbirds are 'nest parasites'.  They lay their eggs in the nests of other species.  For reasons still unknown to science, many species of birds treat the cowbird egg as if it is one of their own.  When the young cowbird hatches, its first act is to toss any other eggs and nestlings over the side.  (The baby cowbird's body has actually evolved to have a curved back that makes this easier.)  The nest builders raise the baby cowbird as it was their own, and it gets all the food since there are no other nestlings to compete with.

There are a limited number of species that do recognize the cowbird egg as foreign and push it out.  Still, there are enough fooled that the whole behavior has worked as a successful breeding strategy for millions of years.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Every cowbird in existence that you see flying around was born in a nest of another species of bird.  Female cowbirds to do not raise little cowbirds.  It is part of life but that is why I have so much disdain for cowbirds. 

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Apparently Cowbirds evolved to this pattern of laying their egg in another birds nest since Cowbirds followed the migrating herds of Bison and did not stay in one place long enough to build a nest and raise their own young. It seems awful to think that the eggs and young of other birds are sacrificed in order for the Cowbirds to exist, but, that is the way of nature. As I've heard it said, Nature is neither cruel nor kind, merely indifferent. I'm not fond of Cowbirds doing what they do either, but that is their way, and a good example of survival of the fittest.

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On a happier note than cowbirds, my second  bluebird brood started yesterday.  Two chicks of the 4 eggs were hatched before dark so I'm sure I have 4 little chicks today.  it is amazing how small they are when they first hatch and then how big they will be in 21 days before they fledge. I don't understand how they can grow that fast.  A lot of bugs I guess!  Praying for rain that should get here by Wednesday.  It hasn't rained in central Alabama for 2 weeks. 

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