WILD ostriches (Struthio camelus L.) generally use communal nests1-4. In East Africa, 2-7 hens lay up to 13 eggs each in the same shallow scrape in the ground. Only one, the `major' hen2, guards and later incubates the nest, helped by the male. Although a complete nest may contain up to 30-40 of the white 1.5-kg eggs4,5, an ostrich hen can incubate only about 20 (unpublished data). The surplus are pushed out to 1-2 m away where they are not incubated, and perish. I report here that the major hen avoids pushing out her own eggs.