So I fought my way home last night in beach traffic from Santa Monica to Westchester. Traffic’s been ugly lately and there just isn’t any good way to pass between these two areas. I was so looking forward to getting in my jammies and finishing the book I was reading. But no. Mom had another bird crisis.

Gotten herself worked up again, too. “I hate to do this to you but she’s acting sick again and I called that bird place in Santa Monica and said we’d bring her in as soon as we could.”

“She’s probably going to lay another egg.”

“When I described to that bird place how she was acting, they said we better bring her in to make sure she’s not egg bound.”

Egg bound. Wherein a bird’s got an egg in the shoot that won’t come out. They can die from it. What could I do? I changed out of my work clothes and got back on the road, back to Santa Monica. The bird, I should note, was hopping around and acting perky by this time, but far be it from me to point that out.

Yes, she had an egg in there, but didn’t appear to be egg bound. And no, it isn’t unnatural for her to just start laying eggs now after so many years. I knew from experience that was so, but the nice vet lady reinforced it. And yes, it was probably the calcium supplements Mom had been giving her which helped her produce eggs. Sometimes they go years and years, then start laying; sometimes they go years and years and never lay. I wish Baby had been in that latter category, but alas. The nice vet lady said that if she didn’t lay an egg in the next 24-48 hours, they’d induce, and maybe later look at giving her something to inhibit egg production. She can’t do without the calcium. She had a severe deficiency last winter and stopped being able to fly. But that was another bird crisis some months ago. Returning to the present bird crisis…

Tips for natural inhibition of egg-laying: (1) Baby is to be locked into her cage. Apparently, any stimulation such as flying around the house, sitting on Mom’s shoulder and watching TV, throwing pencils on the floor and ripping paper up is right out for the next two weeks. That kind of stimulation (since she’s bonded with Mom) can bring on the egg-laying. (2) Mom must cover her cage earlier in the evening than she has been (moving from 7 p.m. to 4-5 p.m.) and leave her covered later in the morning. Apparently, the more hours of light, the more it stimulates egg production. (3) If she lays another egg, leave it in her cage. Having an egg to fuss over can also inhibit egg production.

Fortunately for at least part of this scenario, when Mom uncovered Baby this morning, she had already laid her egg. It currently resides in her cage to be fussed over.

And I sincerely hope this is the end of bird crises for the moment. Or at least, the next time Baby acts like this Mom will recognize that it’s just another egg in the oven.