What to do with a robin's egg?
August 27, 2009 2:02 PM   Subscribe

There is an abandoned robin's egg in the nest in my bushes, is this something I can save/display somehow?

I watched the Robin for a month, the eggs hatched and three birds were raised. The flew away one day last month. There's been one left over egg in the nest now ever since then. I know the mother Robin has not returned so the egg is most likely never going to hatch. I was going to trim the bushes this weekend and probably remove the nest.

I was wondering if the egg itself could be drilled and emptied and preserved?

I know there are laws about domestic migratory birds as well, but not sure if Robins are covered.
posted by inthe80s to Pets & Animals (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The American Robin is indeed covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and collecting the egg would be a violation of that act, if that is your question.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:37 PM on August 27, 2009

Technically, you should not transport orphaned eggs or nestlings, touch adults or young, or bring an injured bird home to help it - only a licensed wildlife rehabber can do that.
Which may sound wacky, but without such a rule you would have egg collectors claiming that all of their stolen eggs had been abandoned.
posted by pracowity at 2:58 PM on August 27, 2009

FWIW, I once found a whole discarded pigeon egg (which bigger in size than a robin's egg). I left it in my windowsill, the contents eventually dried up on its own and it never made a stinky mess.
posted by jamaro at 3:33 PM on August 27, 2009

You can definitely blow out a robin's egg- I had one growing up. It will probably stink, so do it outside. I guess there's a chance the inside wasn't a liquid egg, but rather an embryonic chick, so there's a chance you won't be able to blow out the contents like an easter egg. You might see if you can see any shadowy shapes in the egg by shining a very bright light through the egg in a dark room.

If you choose to blow out the egg, here are instructions- there are lots more online. Basically you make a small hole and a big hole in the ends of the egg. Put in a needle, break the yolk sac, and swirl to liquefy. Then gently blow the liquid contents out into a bowl. I've never done the last step of baking the shell, so I don't have any advice about that.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:58 PM on August 27, 2009

I feed button quail eggs (about the same size as a robin egg) to my egg-eating snake. Usually I pierce the end of them with a needle to let the scent out (long story). If she doesn't end up eating them, I eventually remove them from her enclosure. After a while, they dry up with just a tiny pinhole in the end.

Another option: we went to a display/demonstration of Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs. Though they sometimes blow the contents out, traditionally they would leave them full. The website (at the very bottom of the page) suggests turning them weekly to keep them from exploding as the organic matter decomposes, until the eggs dry up.
posted by caroljean63 at 4:03 PM on August 27, 2009

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