Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20: Bluebird Eggs

A friend with bluebird houses on her farm property said she opened one up to clean it out recently and found a nest inside with several eggs, some hatched and some not. The eggs were small and sky blue. We looked them up, and it seems they actually were bluebird eggs. Their condition, though, begs a narrative. Did a few birds hatch and grow up, with the other eggs being duds? Did something happen to the parent birds just after the first eggs hatched so that they couldn't brood the others? Did the parent birds just abandon the eggs after something got the first hatchlings? The life and death permutations multiply in the imagination.

But the eggs, as most eggs are, were small objets d'art: fingertip-sized, unblemished, perfectly shaped, robin's egg blue. (Robins and bluebirds are thrush relatives, so it makes sense that their eggs might be similar.) I had always thought that cavity nesters like bluebirds laid white eggs, because there's no need for camouflage it the eggs are tucked away in a hole. But a bluebird lays a blue egg, and both carry their color beautifully.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Cleaning the birdhouse,
some eggs broken, others not--
past summer's drama.

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