Friday, May 20, 2011
Well THAT'S not such a pretty picture!
I think I owe our Araucana an apology. I thought she was the one eating eggs last summer, but it looks like our egg-eater is not a chicken at all. I watched a Magpie swoop into the coop today, and do this damage. They're known locally for eating nestlings and stealing eggs from other species of birds. It's funny to read that birders call this species rare. Flocks of them spend their summers on the lawns of my neighborhood. I've seen firsthand that they are quite susceptible to West Nile Virus, though -- a couple of summers ago they were acting kind of drunk because of the virus' effects. When I see my eggs stolen this way I kind of feel like attacking the birds, but it is good to know that they're a vulnerable species. I'm all for helping species in danger, but I don't want my chicken nesting boxes to turn into regular bird feeders (and besides, they seem to be pecking holes in the eggs looking for meat, and then leaving the eggs pretty much uneaten when they see that they are undeveloped. What a waste!)
Our coop doesn't have a roof, since we weren't worried about predatory birds or anything else coming in from above. I guess it is time to rig up something to cover it...