Thursday, May 10, 2007

And then there were 3...

Well it seems that one of the eggs was definitely infertile. Here's what happened: yesterday afternoon one of the eggs was noticeably sunken in. Then, last evening an egg broke and Orville was observed possibly eating some of the contents and removing the remains. From reports it sounded as if the contents were yolky which would indicate that egg had not developed. It is normal for the adults to consume part or all of an egg and/or remove remains to keep the nest clean. We are now down to 3 eggs in the nest.

The birds may appear confused at times and some viewers even worry that they are sad. Scout and Orville's actions are based strictly on instinct, not emotion. Right now they are getting mixed signals based on what their instincts tell them to expect (hatch) and what the eggs are telling them (no hatch) so there will be some level of confusion which will be reflected in their actions (setting on eggs, not setting on eggs, looking at eggs, not looking at eggs). Many of us watching are concerned about what is going on. Fortunately, Scout and Orville don't share those worries or concerns the same way as we humans do. Their ultimate goal is to produce offspring and if it doesn't happen with this clutch of eggs, hopefully their hormone levels will allow them to produce more eggs. Regardless, Scout and Orville will come out of this fine.