Friday, May 05, 2023

Fenton Friday: A Mystery Egg

While clearing out our weedy asparagus patch last week, I came across this little nest and brown speckled egg. The only birds I have seen fly in or out of the community garden plot are the Goldfinches in the late summer that like our sunflowers and zinnias. There is also the Robin that follows me around as I weed and a Hawk that surveys the garden from up high on the utility lines for baby bunnies and other prey. A bit of research assured me that this egg did not belong to any of these regular visiting birds.

Cecily Nabors, our Washington Gardener Magazine bird columnist, thinks it may be a Cowbird. This makes me feel much better about the abandoned egg as cowbirds are known as "obligate brood parasites" -- meaning they lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species for the unsuspecting "adoptive" parents to raise and care for them. 

This week we harvested lettuce, spinach, and arugula. We pulled a few carrots and they are still too tiny to even be eaten as "baby" carrots. The peas and radishes are also still weeks away from harvest stage.

I checked on the garlic and no scapes have formed yet -- though I expect that to happen any day now.

The few strawberry plants that I left on the edge of the renovated asparagus bed are in flower and I even saw a few fruits forming on them too.

The potato plants continue to increase exponentially and the thornless blackberry bush is absolutely covered in green fruits -- I need to remember to throw a cover over it soon so I can actually eat some this year and not lose all of them to the birds!

What are you growing in your edible garden this season?

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 12th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above (at the top, left on this blog).


  1. Alex Bardsley2:12 AM

    It's tough, because if you google pale blue and brown mottled bird's egg, you'll come up with a bunch of plausible candidates, from song sparrows to mockingbirds. But my guess is, sadly, house sparrows.

    1. Alex Bardsley2:14 AM

      Belay that, HOSPs are cavity nesters, which is why they're such a plague on bluebirds.

    2. Thanks - and yes, that is the mystery as the nest doesn't really match the egg - it looks more white than blue in person and is TINY - like the size of my pinky finger nail.


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