The pair is finally making regular appearances at the feeding table, taking the cornmeal suet, but much hesitating and apprehension. I don’t dare try to photograph them yet, they startle so easily.
Yesterday morning, I glanced out, debating whether to bring the feeder closer to the house since it was sprinkling. To one side, there was a pale blue egg similar to the plastic miniature eggs I’d been using as Easter photo props. Being so light, they were frequently blown off the table. I assumed the family member found one on the ground, and put it there for safekeeping.
But when I picked it up, it was much heavier than the plastic eggs. The only answer was that the female towhee somehow laid this while eating or while being startled. (I looked it up, the only other sizable bird that comes to the table is the mourning dove. This resembles more the towhee egg.)
So I figured if I put it in their nest, they would abandon it and any other eggs already there. It’s probably illegal to be in possession of this egg. Meanwhile, depending on how long it had been out there, it was no longer a viable egg anyway. But the family member, who gets up at dawn, did not see it earlier. So there was the chance it was a freshly laid egg.
While I pondered all these issues, I put it in a prop nest, and put it under a lamp.