Yesterday evening I walked into my garden, and what did I see? A small nest with three eggs. Two eggs are off-white and one is dark brown.
I wondered why one bird could lay different colored eggs at the same time?
The Red-chested Cuckoo is about 31cm in length. They are highly vocal and eat caterpillars, slugs, snails, and berries, all to be found in our garden! The Cuckoo uses the nest of another bird to lay their brown eggs in, most common the Cape Robin-chat. The Cape Robin-chat (also known as Jan Frederik) is the surrogate parents and raises the cuckoo chick as their own.
The Cape Robin-chat lay about 2-3 eggs which can be the color of pale blue, pinkish, or off-white. Always frecked with rusty brown spots towards the end.
So the brown egg is a Cuckoo egg and the other two off-white eggs are those of a Cape Robin-chat.
Sadly it is mostly the case that the cuckoo chick grew bigger in size than the Cape Robin-chat chicks and will kick them out of the nest to be fed alone.
This arises the question for me: “Shall I remove the brown egg or leaving it with the other two?”…
Hope you enjoy the photo!