Every Spring I buy a Boston Fern to hang on the front porch. Every year, without fail I have a pair of House Finches build a sweet little nest inside. It makes for scary watering of the fern but I love my birdies!
But, I have a confession to make.
I am a murderer.
Yes. You heard that right. Yesterday, when I checked the nest there were four eggs. I went into the house and got a teaspoon and carefully dipped out the largest egg. Then, with little remorse I threw the egg away. I deliberately murdered a baby bird before it had even hatched!
It was a Cowbird egg!
Cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds nests. The Cowbird chicks are precocious and hatch well before the host bird's eggs. The host bird's babies die because the parasite chick gets all the food. I couldn't let that happen to my sweet House Finches!
I checked the nest again this morning and again there were four eggs. All the right flavor this time!
When I told Jessie what I had done, she quoted the ever-logical Mr. Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." She's a pretty quick kid. Maybe I don't feel so bad, now.
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