All birds are beautiful, and we should all fear for their continued existence; however, some are less welcome than others, and among the less welcome is the Brown-Headed Cowbird. The first picture is of an Eastern Phoebe nest on my friends front porch. The second picture shows two Phoebe eggs and one Cowbird egg. Later a third Phoebe egg was produced.
If left as is, the Cowbird egg will hatch and soon kill the young Phoebes. The only way to save the Phoebes is to remove the Cowbird egg, although the removal may cause the parasitizing Cowbird female to raid or destroy the Phoebe nest. I told my friend to remove the speckled Cowbird egg; but she did not want the yoke on her conscience.
My conscience has been trashed so often that I volunteered to remove the Cowbird egg. I carefully slipped the egg into a plastic bag and put it in her freezer. She was alright with returning the frozen egg the next morning. The end of the story is lovely to behold. Charles Marlin