how to identify bird egg shells

While growing up, I lived in a wooded area and I was forever bringing home the shells of empty bird eggs. Occasionally, Id find an empty nest and bring that home, too. Of course, I was always asking, “What kind of bird was it?”

It didnt matter what it really was; my mom would always say it belonged to a robin.

a common woodland and garden bird that has what is possibly the most exquisite song of all birds The blackbird breeds from early spring to midsummer, producing two or even three broods annually.

This colourful bird is the UKs largest tit. Early in the spring, the great tit builds a nest out of feathers and moss to lay its eggs.

These are the biggest pigeons we have, and they live all over the UK in farms, parks, and woodland areas. They can reproduce all year long and typically produce one or two broods. Woodpigeon empty eggs are frequently observed resting on garden lawns and forest floors.

Description: pale blue-green or olive with buff-coloured speckles. Egg size: 3. 2 x 2. 3 cm Clutch size: 3-10.

The bright pink-red cheeks and breasts of the male birds make them easily identifiable. In a fragile nest constructed of twigs, fine roots, and moss, bullfinches lay their eggs in April and May. Description: light green-blue with purple markings. Egg size: 2 x 1. 5cmClutch size: 4-5.

What to Notice When You See a Wild Bird Egg

A few words of caution before we go on to features that can assist you in determining the owners of various bird eggs:

  • Never disturb an egg nest or a parent who is raising offspring. If a nest is being used by a native species, it is forbidden to disturb it. Furthermore, a worried parent might become so exhausted that they flee the nest, abandoning the chicks to perish.
  • Don’t assume an egg on the ground means it fell out of a nest. Certainly, search the area to see if you can find the nest it might have fallen out of, and then carefully replace it. However, some birds purposefully leave their egg scrapes on the ground. The markings on ground nest eggs will help them blend in with their surroundings.

Use a field guide to determine the type of bird egg most easily. I prefer ones with photographs rather than drawings. For me, theyre more realistic and show natural variations. However, if you don’t have access to such a resource, use these hints as a guide for confirmation.

It’s useful to measure an egg’s size by comparing it to another object. Ive seen several charts that use a U. S. dime as a point of comparison, most likely due to the large number of tiny eggs laid by wild backyard birds. An egg from a hummingbird, for instance, is about the size of a coffee bean, but an egg from a robin could be as big as a quarter.

Although we are all familiar with the shape of a chicken egg, wild bird eggs are not at all like those of chickens. And across species, they look different too. Is the shape of your egg more uniform, round, oval, or narrow and wide? Does it have a pointed end?

Cardinal Eggs / Shutterstock

The surface texture of eggs laid by backyard birds in the wild varies remarkably widely. While many of them are smooth, a similar number can feel pebbly or have tiny dimples all over them. Some wild backyard bird eggs have ridges and ripples. Eggs can also have a matte, dull finish or be glossy.

For fun, observe how the texture or finish of the paint resembles the glossy, matte, and eggshell textures of eggs the next time you go wall paint shopping.

The next feature, markings, along with color, are very helpful in identifying eggs. You should write down the general base color (beige, brown, white, etc.). ), whether the hue varies, whether the color is bold or subtle, and whether it is consistent throughout the entire egg.

Blue Jay egg / Shutterstock

Like color, the markings on an egg vary across species. Similarly, there are a variety of markings that can be discovered. It’s important to be able to differentiate between spots, speckles, and splotches for accurate identification. Assess their color and whether they are dispersed, concentrated, or maybe in a band at one end.

In addition to the egg, you can note additional hints that will aid in identifying it. You could record the nest’s appearance, location, materials, and number of eggs (keeping in mind not to disturb the nest or parents).


How do you identify egg shells?

Color and the next characteristic, markings, go a long way in helping to identify eggs. You’ll want to make note of the general base color (white, brown, beige, etc.), if the color is uniform across the entire egg, if the color is pale or bold, and whether there are variations in the hue.

How do you tell if an egg is a bird egg?

In general, bird egg shells are made of calcium carbonate and so the default colour is white. But other pigments can create different colours and patterns. Birds that build their nests in trees and shrubs (like dunnock and blackbird) generally have blue or greenish eggs, either spotted or unspotted.

Is there an app to identify bird eggs?

Whether you monitor an extensive nest box trail or find a single nest in your yard—track nests, eggs, and baby birds with the new NestWatch app. No data sheets necessary!

What birds lay white eggs on the ground?

Some ducks, geese, grebes and many gallinaceous birds lay white eggs in ground nests. Just before they leave the nest, they cover their eggs with plants or grasses to conceal them from predators. There are far more birds that lay colored or tinted eggs than those that lay white eggs.