I jumped out of my skin when a tiny bird whizzed past my ear as I was watering my ferns.
I parted the leaves and peered in to discover a perfect little nest with five tiny eggs.
Let’s play Which One Doesn’t Belong. One egg is not like the rest.
Ever heard of a cowbird?
I hadn’t until I posted this pic on Instagram and a flood of comments poured in.
A frantic google search ensued and here’s what I learned …
Cowbirds are brood parasites – meaning they lay their eggs in other birds nests then let other unsuspecting birds raise their babies! Each cowbird can lay up to 36 eggs in on spring.
Cowbirds often hatch first and will sometimes try to get rid of the competition by pushing the other eggs out of the nest! If the other babies do manage to hatch before they are flung from their home, the cowbird is so loud and demanding that the poor parents end up giving them most of the food and the other birds may die of starvation.
P.S. Did I mention it’s illegal to remove these eggs from nests!
Why oh why did I ever google cowbird?
I was happier when I was clueless about the cut throat nature of birds.
I need a strong cocktail asap – I think I’ll whip up a batch of my Summer Sangria.
Maybe some retail therapy will help me forget – here are some of my favorite weekend affiliate sales.
On a brighter note, my peonies are bursting into bloom and they smell amazing.
Read my Tips for Planting Peonies so you can have armloads of these gorgeous blooms.