Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Whose Egg This Is, I'd Like To Know!

"Wild" egg on the left; extra-large store-bought egg on right.

Egg nestled under sagebrush root when found.

See how the egg's coloring blends with the dry ground and twisted sage roots.

The moon was rising as we turned toward home.

Last evening our grandson hurried in and asked me to come out before dark to view an egg he had found while riding his bike through the sagebrush and weeds of our vacant lot. He is very interested in the natural world and wild life. I am so pleased that at almost 15 he still seeks my company when he finds something special.

We have speculated on what bird-y creature left this mottled egg in such a spot. It doesn't appear to be tended or cherished. Our first thought was it might belong to one of the Mallard ducks, but they make their secret nests in the cat tails that surround the nearby pond. There are pheasants who patrol the vacant lot, but we think a pheasant egg might be smaller. We wonder: how long has the egg been resting in the dirt? It was sunk into an egg-shaped depression nearly under the twisted trunk of the sage. Has it been rained upon? Has it cooked during the recent hot afternoons? Would it explode if we poked it?

We had no answers, so as the moon rose in the night sky, we crunched back through the dry and prickery weeds. This evening we took the white egg from the store-bought dozen and laid it beside the egg of unknown parentage for size comparison. I have a ridiculous mental picture of the unknown bird being overtaken with an inconvenient urge to lay an egg, squatting there by the bush, then continuing on without a care.

Grandson's find today was a large snake on the overgrown path down to the old barn. I declined his invitation to see if it was still there.


  1. I think it is wonderful that you have this relationship with your grandson ...dont think I would want to look at snakes either lol

    Something in the back of my mind says that some birds do lay in scraped hollows ...do you have Falcons in the area?

  2. Angie--your comment reminds me that we have smaller birds who lay eggs right on the ground. We found a snipe's nest in a little hollow near the marsh earlier this year. Many hawks in the area--the size of the egg is as much a puzzle as its abandoned location. I'm sure that by now whoever deposited the egg, it is a DUD>