Around 9:15 AM Espie went up to the nest and began arranging the chips just the way she liked. Qweety positioned herself at the other side of the nest box and watched. About 15 minutes later Buffy hopped up on the observation deck and she and Qweety watched, but kept their distance.
They waited ten minutes, and curiousity and, I think, the desire to take their turns got the best of them, and they inched closer to Espie. Espie began looking dazed, but in deep concentration, and began her whirring noises. Qweety got so curious that she poked her head behind Buffy, craned her neck, and stared at Espie's back end--you can see this in the photo below. Twenty-five minutes after being on the nest, Espie had laid an egg!
I was SO proud of her--I suspected she had laid at least two eggs. This was the first egg I actually SAW her lay. Here are Buffy and Qweety inspecting the egg. Note how they've bunched Espie up against the side of the box--it's as if they are saying, "Step aside, WE wanna see!!".
Then The Symmetry of the Necks took over, and both Espie and Buffy lowered their heads down to egg level, faced each other, and eyed the egg just like this for at least a full minute. It actually looked kind of sculptural to me, almost like the farm version of two swans who were facing each other with their necks arched.
I got a closeup of their inspection session. I wonder what they were thinking? It's almost as if Buffy were saying, "YOU did this? That's pretty good! I want a closer look!"
Buffy waited patiently till Espie was ready step off the nest, and then she took her turn.
Half an hour later, she stood up and laid her egg, and then told the whole world about it. Here she is proclaiming her feat, LOUDLY.
The ruckus brought Qweety around, and Buffy skedaddled out from the nest, leaving Qweety to inspect the work thus far.
She decided to try to contribute to the effort and hunkered her fluffy underside carefully over the eggs.
Forty minutes later, a lovely blue egg!
The final result: three absolutely beautiful eggs from three very special girls! (oops, they are really more accurately called women, now!)