Eggs, Yay!

Day 14, for my pair of sparrows, started off as any other during their nest-building effort – routine, with all standard operating procedures firmly in place. But as dusk neared I could sense a difference. Every evening the female would go round the nest checking that all six sides were secure (somehow it reminded me of an airline pilot doing the pre-flight walk around inspection!), before taking off for an unknown destination to roost for the night. But that evening, as I said, was different. As light faded, she sat on top of the nest-box whiling her time away – much of which was spent eyeing me with suspicion as she always does. As dusk fell she entered the nest and I could hear the pitter patter of her tiny feet scrabbling in one corner of the cardboard box and the tap tap of her beak doing some fine adjustments with the interiors. Then quiet descended upon the nest and as she failed to emerge for over a quarter of an hour, it became evident that she had settled down for the night!

And such a scenario held forth only one explanation – she was going to lay her eggs! After a couple of hours, I cautiously held back a small section of the curtain and peeped into the nest from behind the glass window pane. And there she was – looking back straight at me! I hurriedly rearranged the curtain and switched off the living room lights – no further disturbances warranted. Every once a while I could hear muted cheeps from her (maybe she felt some pain laying the eggs?). By midnight all was still and I too called it a day.

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I was up at 5 am today, as curious as a fish (can’t say cat – I’m going to use it in the next sentence). It was raining cats (see I used it here!) and dogs, but nothing stirred inside the nest. It was only around 6:00 am, when the male put in an appearance heading straight for the millet seeds (I had a good mind to ask him where he was the whole night), that she peeped out. I could see straight away that the routine was changed – new SOPs had evolved overnight. Neither of them would leave the nest alone, and even if they had to, one would be sitting inside at any given time. It was then that I had the confirmation – the eggs had been laid!

Do not ask me by what subterfuge I took these pictures, but now that I have them, I am not going anywhere near the nest till the babies show up. Not that it will be of much consequence because soon the eggs won’t be visible! Since morning they have been bringing in an assortment of feathers to cover the eggs with, and I am sure that by the time I finish typing this up, the deluge of quills would have ensured complete camouflage. So, until later folks. I expect Independence Day celebrations to begin perhaps a bit earlier this year…

– Narendra Nayak © 2019

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29 thoughts on “Eggs, Yay!

  1. It’s so good that you’re willing to respect their privacy, and not bother them overmuch. It can be so tempting to keep peeking when we have some little treasure like this around, but it does create some stress for them. You’re a good reporter, and a good watcher!

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  2. That is so cool! A few years ago, a pair of wrens nested in an old shoe on a beam in my back porch. Even though 2 people, a cat, and a dog went in and out of the nearby door many times a day. I had no way to look into the nest, but I could see one or the other bird sitting in the shoe, and after the eggs hatched, they were always coming and going with bugs to feed the little ones. It was interesting to watch. Then one day they were gone; I guess the little guys were ready to leave the nest.

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  3. That’s so awesome! We had a bird’s next this summer by the door, left it there until the eggs hatched and the mama and papa were so tentative, they were robins and when the first got shoved from the next he was so clueless walking around, was hilariously adorable.

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  4. Oh my my! Such an interesting story. I was right there with you watching and feeling every bit of the scenario unfolding. The eggs look so cute. Seeing Sparrow eggs for the first time. And, I will ask how did you manage those pics 😀

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    1. Thank you so much; I’m delighted that you enjoyed it! 🙂
      Ha ha ha…and I will tell you at the risk of being labelled a scheming savage. I have two feeders for the sparrows placed in two different windows. One feeder below the nest has been appropriated by my pair. The other feeder is supposed to be for other sparrows including another pair which is nesting some distance away, but within sight from my window. But now my pair has laid claim to that feeder too and chase away anyone who approaches there.
      So my plan was simple; I put an assortment of goodies in the other feeder which promptly attracted the other sparrows and, as expected, my pair shot off after them like guided missiles! That was my cue and voila – I had my clicks! So, there… 😁

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  5. That’s awesome. A bird had laid eggs near an empty plot next to my house and the mother sat on the eggs for weeks. We fed them too. Suddenly, one day I saw four little chicks. They led the mother on such a dance. She had a tough time keeping up with them all the while crying out instructions to them. They flew away after a while. I really missed the little family.

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