My bird-loving daughter (yep, she gets it from me) found an egg at kindy. According to her the egg is “creamish with brown speckles” and she found it on the concrete under a few trees. We took a photo on the iphone, then googled it at home.
Turns out it’s quite tricky to identify eggs online. We tried looking for an identification guide, but no luck. We tried searching for the eggs of common birds around our area, but that proved an overwhelming task. So instead, we thought about who we could ask for help online. We decided to email the museum! I helped my big 4 year old to compose her email which went something like this:
I found an egg at my kindy.
It is creamish and has brown speckles.
I looked but I couldn’t see a nest.
I think it is a sparrow egg.
What do you think it is?
We sent the email off and I sent the girl off to bed! (While she was asleep I sent the same email to a second museum to increase our chances of hearing back from at least one…)
We were delighted to receive speedy emails responses from BOTH museums. The Discovery Centre at the Melbourne Museum emailed back the next day, with a detailed response from the Manager of Mammalogy and Ornithology and a child-friendly explanation from a Discovery Centre team member. (So of course I gave them a shoutout on twitter.) Shortly after we also received an email from an information officer at the Queensland Museum. It too was informative and child-friendly.
As a teacher I was thrilled to see that big museums around Australia are not too busy to answer a young child’s request, and as a mother I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of each message.
If only they had both come back with the same answer!! The options are Noisy Miner, Welcome Swallow, House Sparrow, Magpie Lark or Eurasian Blackbird. What do you think?