A Good Egg
May 2018 by V. R. Duin


An airborne engine screamed and roared
As over the fence that speedboat soared.
Dolly squawked and dove under her stool
As that errant boat landed in the pool.

Birds, like Dolly the Parrot, do not “build a nest egg”. They also are not the only creatures that can “lay an egg”, be this a “good egg” or a “bad egg” when it hatches, or fails to hatch. Their valued production is expected to fly away.

Birds are not the only animals that lay eggs. Although birds do not “build a nest egg”, birds normally lay one “good egg” at a time. These eggs usually are fertilized internally. Chickens and any other bird can lay infertile eggs. These cannot be fertilized once laid. They will not hatch. Some insects and fish release many eggs at once, for external fertilization. Parrots typically lay from two to eight eggs during each nesting season. A “good egg” also is used to describe a good person. Eggs have long been associated with new life and the birth of spring.

There also is the opposite, a “bad egg”, which birds and people generally wish to avoid. This is not a good person, bird or egg. “Bad eggs” are not fertilized and will not hatch. This expression also describes unwelcome intruders into nests, homes, offices, restaurants, stores or vehicles. Birds, like people, feel anger and will lash out to prevent unwelcome intrusions into their space or damage to their “good eggs”. Parrots typically mate for life. Unlike people, birds do not “build a nest egg” when they “lay an egg”. Their production is encouraged to fly away. Unfortunately, some bird nests are used as the world's most expensive culinary ingredient in bird's nest soup.

To “lay an egg” also can mean to make a bad performance. Sometimes, this bad performance is not brought to our immediate attention. Much like the omen of bad fortune that accompanies the entry of a bird into a house, this bad action may come back to haunt us. Other times, we are made very aware of it by the reactions of others or by self-awareness. Bad performances are like “bad eggs” in that they do not help us “build a nest egg”, until we change our ways. Birds often sit for long periods on unfertilized eggs that will not hatch. Chickens often try to incubate unfertilized eggs laid by other hens. Some birds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

People have developed ways to determine if eggs are fertilized or not. People also can tell if eggs are fresh to eat. Should we become aware of this “bad egg” in a performance, we may anxiously relive the experience, over and over. The anxiety that rises when we “lay an egg” may cause us to learn and to practice new skills in effort to avoid making a similar error in the future. This is not unlike the learning process that comes with eating expired eggs. Although birds' goal is not to “build a nest egg”, birds also become anxious when danger places any “good egg” in their care at risk. They are protective of their nests, be these in trees, in tunnels or in crevices between rocks.

Parrots and other birds cannot add locks and other protective devices to their property to avoid “bad eggs”. However they can band together and work as a team to protect their flock and nesting areas. Parrot parents take turns sitting on the eggs until they hatch. This generally takes from 20 to 30 days. To “lay an egg” may be taxing, but reading about the eggs laid by others can be fun. This is particularly true when the outcome ends up being a “good egg”.

Most of us work hard to avoid becoming labeled a “bad egg”. To stay positive, parrots and people also avoid dealings with individuals of this negative nature. Like people, parrots strive for a “good egg”, when they “lay an egg”. Parrots may practice restraint in launching attacks against a potential “bad egg”. Parrots use their heads. The cost to life and limb may not reward the effort. Parrots are responsible for the care of their offspring during the first one or more years of life. Some parrots do not reach maturity until the age of four years.

Birds do not “build a nest egg” to save forever. However, parrots that “lay an egg”, will protect any “good egg” and any chick hatched in their nests. Parrot chicks require extra care during the first two weeks of life, which are lived in blindness. Parrots identify and try to avoid predators. Parrots know when to be quiet and when to squawk. Parrots are protective of flock members while navigating their world for food sources. Large flocks are vulnerable to sophisticated attacks by “bad eggs”, as are individual birds.

Once attacked, recovery may exceed the flock's abilities. Human expertise and intervention may be required to restore the flock. Sometimes, the flock must resettle new territories. It is difficult for anyone to “lay an egg”, survive and move forward with repeated harmful setbacks. Perhaps this is why only humans put forth the effort required to “build a nest egg” of “good eggs” to forever have and hold.

Can There Be a Bad Egg?

  • lay an egg Dolly says:

    Many creatures other than birds lay an egg or multiple eggs to reproduce, including most reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, fish and insects.

  • bad egg Dolly says:

    A bad egg can result in wildlife or in captivity due to illness, genetic problems, pollution or other internal or external forces.

    • Build a Nest EggDolly says:

      To build a nest egg takes safety precautions, attention to details, dedication of effort, management of time and diligence of work, all of which may be attributed to a nesting bird.