Fourth and Fifth Egg for Mother Goose!

And then there were four eggs! Mother Goose actually has five eggs now, but she laid her fourth on March 26. Note the poop! I’m wondering if it is intentional, or at least conditioned. Some birds – the Eurasian Hoopoe for example – deter predators by coating their eggs in an antimicrobial secretion that makes them smell rotten and inedible.

We humans are extremely visual and struggle to see the scent-painted world that informs the umwelt of many animals around us. But goose poop on goose eggs – and nestling eagle-painted poopcasso nests! – might help deter predators because they smell disgusting. We’ll be exploring the world of scent and birds in future blogs. Some questions: can birds smell? Can eagles smell? Can their egg predators smell? Does pooping when laying eggs or giving birth yield a survival advantage because poop is gross? So much to learn and so many beautiful birds to watch!

Thanks for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring!