cspry's picture

IMG_1106

Observed: 18th July 2012 By: csprycspry’s reputation in Birds
IMG_1106
Description:

For several years, I have been finding single hens eggs (4 in all) in one of my ground floor window boxes at the front of my house. Today I found this egg in a ground floor window box of an adjacent neighbour. Both houses face the road with a common driveway. What is the egg and how do they get into our window boxes?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

cspry's picture

White egg

So how did it get into the window box?

Amadan's picture

Wood pigeon puzzles -

I have been taking an interest in our local family, given their persistent and ingenious attempts to strip my bird feeders, or to prevent other birds using them.
They seem to breed - or at least mate - all year round. They nest in the local leylandii forest, but they seem happy to roost on rooves and other ledges. Hence, perhaps, your eggs. They also seem a bit promiscuous, and I suspect that it is an "inferior" female in the group who has been forced to lay elsewhere. The alpha male has an interesting "hop of power" when he decides to exert his authority; it seems to deter the other members of the family for a while at least.
Yesterday, a youngster of the clan (no neck ring yet) spent the whole day gorging on the clover in our waterlogged lawn. I think it required a temporary suspension of the laws of physics for him to finally fly off as dusk fell.

JonathanWallace's picture

Whilst I think the 'inferior

Whilst I think the 'inferior female dumping an egg' theory is not implausible it does not explain the fact that the original post mentions that several hens eggs have been found in the same situation. This suggests to me that it is the work of a predator. Crows regularly cache eggs when they raid a nest and I have seen them systematically emptying coot and duck nests, returning for one egg after another with each one being hidden in turn. I would suggest that this is the likely source of the eggs in the window boxes.

Jonathan Wallace

Amadan's picture

That sounds likely -

does anyone in the area keep chickens? If not, then the crows might be raiding the local supermarket!
I did once know a Labrador that was fixated on retrieving, and would even occasionally bring home an unbroken egg, but that seems a bit unlikely in this case.