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Egg Mystery

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Old Friday 27th April 2007, 23:28   #1
Birdstress
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Egg Mystery

Hello! I'm the first to admit I don't know a lot about wild birds so I thought I'd tell my tale and see if anyone has any insight for me.

I'm in central Texas.

We have a hanging flower pot that birds seem to love to build nests in. It's up fairly high on the side porch free hanging. A couple of weeks ago we noticed 2 little white eggs in the nest. A couple days later, there were 2 more, one white and one was beige/brown with stripes. The bird I have seen coming and going most was mostly red, none of us recognize what kind of bird it is, but its not robin or cardinal.

So the first mystery is what kind of bird, and second was, were they sharing since one of the eggs was different?

THEN, this week 2 of the eggs went missing. The next day, the last two were gone.

The nest is deep enough that they definitely didn't fall out, and no evidence laying around. Do squirrels steal eggs? That's about the only wild life around here spry enough to get up there.

I'm definitely going to look at some pictures to figure out what laid the brownish egg, and info for the little red bird.

Any thoughts?
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Old Friday 27th April 2007, 23:37   #2
Ian Hamiltan
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greetings from the uk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdstress View Post
Hello! I'm the first to admit I don't know a lot about wild birds so I thought I'd tell my tale and see if anyone has any insight for me.

I'm in central Texas.

We have a hanging flower pot that birds seem to love to build nests in. It's up fairly high on the side porch free hanging. A couple of weeks ago we noticed 2 little white eggs in the nest. A couple days later, there were 2 more, one white and one was beige/brown with stripes. The bird I have seen coming and going most was mostly red, none of us recognize what kind of bird it is, but its not robin or cardinal.

So the first mystery is what kind of bird, and second was, were they sharing since one of the eggs was different?

THEN, this week 2 of the eggs went missing. The next day, the last two were gone.

The nest is deep enough that they definitely didn't fall out, and no evidence laying around. Do squirrels steal eggs? That's about the only wild life around here spry enough to get up there.

I'm definitely going to look at some pictures to figure out what laid the brownish egg, and info for the little red bird.

Any thoughts?
welcome to the forum
im not an expert on american birds,could it possably be a cuckoo species,
they are known to lay in other birds nests im sure an expert who knows
american birds will have a answer.
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Old Saturday 28th April 2007, 00:39   #3
KC Foggin
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Hello there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

I'm wondering if you were seeing the male of a pair of House Finches which will often build nests in hanging baskets. Now, it sounds as though a Cowbird might have laid an egg in among the finch eggs. Cowbirds are "parasitic" in that they do not raise their own young. They deposit an egg in a nest already in fruition and let the tenants of that nest raise the fledgling.

It's hard to tell what happened to the eggs. Sometimes the tenants of the nest will abandon it if there are disturbances and it is quite possible that a squirrel or Blue Jay took the eggs.
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Old Saturday 28th April 2007, 01:02   #4
Birdstress
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Originally Posted by KCFoggin View Post
Hello there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

I'm wondering if you were seeing the male of a pair of House Finches which will often build nests in hanging baskets. Now, it sounds as though a Cowbird might have laid an egg in among the finch eggs. Cowbirds are "parasitic" in that they do not raise their own young. They deposit an egg in a nest already in fruition and let the tenants of that nest raise the fledgling.

It's hard to tell what happened to the eggs. Sometimes the tenants of the nest will abandon it if there are disturbances and it is quite possible that a squirrel or Blue Jay took the eggs.
I think you are correct about the house finch. Especially if they share the nest duties, because there was a pair of birds.

The cowbird "MO" sounds right too, as I read that if an odd egg is laid in the nest it sometimes causes the other birds to abandon the nest. Only thing about that is their eggs are blueish with dark speckles.
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/BOW/BNH...wwar_626-3.jpg
This is a pic of them sharing with warbler.

Are there other birds in this area that may try to sneak an egg in?
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Old Saturday 28th April 2007, 02:20   #5
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The egg of the Brown-headed Cowbird can be white, bluish or greenish with a fine speckling of reddish brown. If you do a google search for "cowbird egg" you will see quite a variety
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Old Saturday 28th April 2007, 12:54   #6
Birdstress
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCFoggin View Post
The egg of the Brown-headed Cowbird can be white, bluish or greenish with a fine speckling of reddish brown. If you do a google search for "cowbird egg" you will see quite a variety
Oh see there I learned something! thanks!

Found this out too quoting:

"While cowbirds are the only North American parasitic birds "obliged" to parasitism as a way of life, there are many other species that habitually lay their eggs in other birds’ nests.

Black-billed and yellow-billed cuckoos, grebes, rails, the roadrunner, brown thrasher, starling, sparrows and some finches all victimize other birds."

Last edited by Birdstress : Saturday 28th April 2007 at 12:59.
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