Nestled into the rough bark of our backyard mesquite, a magical bird had laid a golden egg. This was excellent: what a windfall! — my fortune was secured, if only I could reach it.
And guess what, it wasn’t an egg at all, but some type of -quat or other: kum-, or perhaps lo-. Yes, that was what it was: a small orange fruit, probably a loquat since a neighbor has a tree, wedged into somewhere safe by a bird, or maybe a squirrel, to be retrieved later.
Who would do such a thing, hiding a golden treasure in plain sight? The jammer would have to have sufficient strength, beak/jaw gape, toe-grasp, cleverness and agility to handle hauling a small fruit into a tree, and stashing it on a vertical trunk. There are several candidates, but I strongly suspect the Curve-billed thrashers, who have just fledged their ravenous brood and are working incessantly, combing every crevice in the yard to feed their greedy-gaped offspring. These industrious foragers will eat anything, seed, suet, bug, or fruit. And they have an eye for treasure, just as golden as loquats.
(All images A.Shock).