There are so many different types of birds: Waterfowl (Anseriformes), Birds of Prey (Accipitriformes), Hummingbirds (Apodiformes), Nightjars (Caprimulgiformes)… The list goes on and on! But have you ever wondered what their eggs look like?
Let’s explore the types of birds and their eggs.
How to identify birds’ eggs
Identifying bird’s eggs can be tricky, even for experienced birders. But with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to tell the difference between the eggs of many birds.
The first step in identifying a bird’s egg is determining its size. Bird eggs come in all different sizes, from tiny hummingbird eggs to huge ostrich eggs. Take a look at the color, Bird eggs can be white, blue, green, brown, or any combination of these colors. Finally, there are usually markings. Some eggs have spots, while others have different markings.
That’s probably the basics of identifying eggs. And now let’s know more about the birds and their eggs.
The great tit is a recognizable bird with a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts, and yellow underparts. In the summer, it mainly eats insects. In the winter, it will consume a wider variety of foods, including little bats that are hibernating.
Great tit eggs measure 17.5 x 13.5mm and have a slight sheen. They have varying degrees of reddish or purplish speckling over their white background.
In addition to northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific, starlings are endemic to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many species from Europe and Asia have been imported to these regions, as well as to North America, Hawaii, and New Zealand. They are regarded as invasive species because they frequently compete with native birds for habitat. The common starling is the species most people in Europe and North America are familiar with.
Starlings are exceedingly sociable, with powerful feet, and a strong, direct flight. They eat insects and fruit and enjoy an open, rural environment for their habitat. Many creatures that dwell close to human settlements are essentially omnivores.
Sized at 30 x 21 mm, starling eggshells are smooth and relatively glossy. They are typically pale blue-green bird eggs.
Male house sparrows have more vivid black, white, and brown markings whereas females and young birds are colored a light brown and grey. Native to much of Asia, the Mediterranean region, and most of Europe. It is the most extensively dispersed wild bird due to its deliberate or unintentional imports to numerous areas, including sections of Australasia, Africa, and the Americas.
The house sparrow, which can be found in both urban and rural areas, is closely related to human habitation. Although it can be found in a broad variety of habitats and climates, it normally stays away from vast woodlands, meadows, and deserts that are not well developed by humans. Although it is an opportunistic eater and frequently consumes insects and a variety of other things, it primarily consumes the seeds of weeds and grains.
House sparrow hatching eggs are slightly glossy, 22.5 x 15.5 mm eggs. White with variable amounts of dark brown and blue-grey speckling.
The song thrush is a migratory species with brown top parts and cream or buff underparts with black spots. The song thrush nests in forests, gardens, and parks. Even though it is not in danger internationally, there have been significant population losses in some regions of Europe, probably as a result of modifications to farming methods.
A whole egg from song thrushes is 31 x 22 mm in size, smooth and lustrous. They are light blue eggs with a few noticeable, sizable dark specks, mainly at the wide end.
The tropics are where the vast majority of Hummingbird species are found. They are little birds, with the majority of species measuring between 7.5 and 13 cm. The bee hummingbird, which measures 5 cm and weighs less than 2.0 g, is the smallest species of hummingbird still living (0.07 oz). The 23 cm enormous hummingbird, which weighs 18-24 grams, is the largest species of hummingbird. Although all species eat flying insects or spiders, they are adapted for feeding on flower nectar.
Hummingbird eggs are white and elliptical and are small eggs about the size of a small jelly bean. Most are less than a gram or the weight of a paperclip!
Depending on latitude, the blackbird can be resident, partially, or fully migratory. Located throughout most of Europe, it has a rich, musical singing voice. It is primarily black or dark, dark brown with yellow eyes beak. The adult female and juvenile have mostly dark brown feathers. This species builds a tidy, cup-shaped nest tied together with mud to reproduce in gardens and woods.
Blackbird eggs are pretty striking. The size of three centimeters, green, blue in color, and covered in brown dots.
The European Robin
A tiny insectivorous bird also referred to as the robin or the robin redbreast in the British Isles. The male and female are similar in color, measuring around 12.5-14.0 cm in length, with an orange breast and face bordered with grey and brown middle parts and a creamy belly. It is widespread throughout Europe, extends east to Western Siberia, and south to North Africa. They tend not to migrate, but a subset of robins do move around based on the season and latitude of their habitat.
The eggs are cream, or white with reddish-brown spots, which are frequently more prominent at the larger hemisphere of the egg.
The American robin
A songbird that migrates. Although the two species are not closely related and the European robin is a member of the Old World flycatcher family, it was named after the European robin because of its reddish-orange breast. The American robin can be found all over North America; it winters along the Pacific Coast, in southern Canada, and in central Mexico. It is the national bird of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Connecticut.
The pigment biliverdin is responsible for the blue color of robin eggs when the eggs hatch. There is evidence that the more blue the eggs appear and the healthier the female are associated with elevated biliverdin levels.
The dunnock is a little perching or passerine bird that lives in temperate Europe and Asian Russia. It is also known as the hedge sparrow or hedge accentor. The dunnock is brown above and has a grey breast with two dark streaks. It has a pointed bill and long legs for its size, which is around 15 cm.
A dunnock’s egg is pale blue with dark brown spots, and they measure 20 x 15mm and have a matte finish.
Pheasants are a family of birds that includes partridges, quails, francolins, and junglefowls. The pheasant is a gamebird that is native to Asia and has been introduced to Europe, Africa, and North America. It is the national bird of Hungary. The male pheasant is very colorful with a long tail and bare red facial skin. The female is much less colorful and has a shorter tail.
Eggs from pheasants are beautiful. They have a gorgeous pale, olive-green (or occasionally brown) shell and are around half the size of a hen’s egg and twice the size of a quail’s egg. They have a bright yellow yolk inside.
The Canada goose, often known as the Canadian goose, is a sizable wild bird with a grey body, a black head and neck, white cheeks, and white beneath its chin. In addition to being frequently seen on or near freshwater, the Canada goose is also widespread in saline marshes, estuaries, and lagoons. They are herbivorous and usually migratory.
Each egg measures 2.2 inches in width and 3.3 inches in length (8.3 cm) (5.6 centimeters). The color of the eggs is a creamy white. Goslings are born with their eyes open and coated in a light yellow tint.
The mallard, known as the wild duck, is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa. Males typically have blue speculum feathers, although both sexes have a region of white-bordered black or iridescent blue feathers on their wings. The females (hens) have mostly brown-speckled feathers, while the males have purple spots on their wings.
Eggs laid by mallard ducks can be anything from white to light blue. They can also occasionally be bluish-green. The eggs of a wild mallard are a creamy white color without any markings. Additionally, they appear as a soft blue-green.
The peregrine falcon also called duck hawk in North America, is a black head, barred white underparts, and a massive falcon with a crow-sized body. It is noted for its speed, reaching up to 320 km/h during its distinctive hunting stoop.
The Arctic tundra to the tropics is the peregrine’s nesting range. Except for the most severe polar regions, extremely high mountains, and tropical rainforests. New Zealand is the only significant ice-free landmass where it is absent. It makes it one of the most ubiquitous bird species and the most common raptor worldwide.
Typically, a peregrine falcon’s female lays 3 to 4 eggs with dark, reddish-brown pigment dotted throughout the eggs, slightly smaller than chicken eggs.
Herring gulls are medium to large seabirds. They are white with grey wings and a yellow bill with a red spot. Adults have light grey legs and feet, and their irises are dark brown. Immature gulls have pale eyes, and their legs and feet are often pinkish.
Adult herring gulls have white bodies, gray wings and backs, black wingtips, and pink legs. Unlike European herring gulls, these birds have darker tails that are gray-brown, darker, and more uniformly colored. It is frequently seen in rubbish dumps, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. The bird typically builds a nest close to water, laying three or four eggs in a hole dug in the ground. Invertebrates, fish, and various other foods are part of its varied diet.
In shades of olive, green, or brownish-green, gull eggs blend in beautifully. While some species have browner and greener eggs, they all resemble one another. They prefer to blend in well with the mossy or rocky habitats in which they live.
The tawny owl is a predatory bird of the night. Due to adaptations to its vision, hearing, and ability to fly quietly, it is able to locate and capture prey in the dark. It hunts primarily rodents, birds, and bats by ear and sound location.
The tawny owl has a round head, no ear tufts, and yellow eyes. Its upper parts are streaked brown and its underparts are pale with dark streaks. The facial disc surrounding the eyes is generally pale with a dark border.
The glossy white eggs are 48 x 39 mm in size and weigh 39.0g, which is 7% of the shell.
The common house martin, also known as the northern house martin or, more commonly, just house martin, is a migratory passerine bird of the swallow family that spends the winters in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia and breeds in Europe, north Africa, and across the Palearctic. It migrates to regions with an abundance of flying insects and feeds on insects that are caught in flight. It can be found in both open areas and close to populated areas. It has a blue head and top parts, a white rump, and all-white underparts.
They hatch four to five soft, pure white eggs, average 1.9 cm by 1.33 cm in size, and weigh 1.7 g.
The great snipe is a wading bird in the sandpiper family. It has a very long bill and is mottled brown above with creamy-buff stripes on its flanks. The underparts are white, sometimes with a brown tinge, and there is a faint stripe over the eye. In flight, it shows a broad white wingbar.
The great snipe has a dark stripe eye and a brown body. The large wings have a light wing bar in flight. North-eastern Europe, especially north-western Russia, has marshes and wet meadows with short vegetation where the great snipe breeds. Great snipes migrate and spend their winters in Africa.
They produce olive-colored eggs with dark brown, black, or purple splotches. With a 1.4-1.7 in length and a 1.0-1.2 in width.
The chicken is a type of domesticated jungle fowl that shares characteristics with wild species like the grey and Ceylon junglefowl, which are native to Southeast Asia. A juvenile male bird or a cockerel, and an adult male bird is known as a cock or rooster. A hen is an adult female bird.
A small hen’s egg or many eggs are white and brown, but a green or bright blue egg is also possible. The shells of a chicken egg have a smooth and porous surface.
The choughs, which live in the highlands of southern Eurasia and North Africa, have black plumage with colorful legs, feet, and beaks. They fly spectacularly and have long, broad wings. Both species form lifelong pairs and show loyalty to the caves or cliff wall fissures where they nest. They consume short-grazed grassland in flocks and typically eat mostly invertebrate prey, supplemented by vegetables or food from human settlement, particularly in the winter.
They lay a few large dark speckled, cream-colored eggs. Choughs produce three to five eggs, weighing 15.7g and measuring 39-28 mm.
Cormorants are medium-to-large birds with a body weight of 0.35 to 5 kg and a wing span of 60 to 100 cm include cormorants and shags. Dark feathers are present in the majority of species. Each of their four toes has webbing between them. All species are fish eaters who dive from the surface to get their meal.
They are skilled divers who use their feet to move forward underwater with the assistance of their wings. Some dive as deep as 45 meters. Due to their necessity for efficient underwater movement and relatively short wings, they have one of the most calorically expensive flights of any flying bird.
They lay unmarked pale blue eggs measuring 5.6-7 cm in length and 3.5-4 cm in width.
The fish-eating, nocturnal osprey, also known as the sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk, has a wide geographic range. It is a sizable raptor that can grow to be more than 60 cm long and 180 cm across the wings. The head and underparts are primarily greyish, while the upper parts are brown.
The eggs laid are mottled or speckled with red or dark brown, ranging in color from dirty white to light brown. The eggs are about the size of chicken eggs and weigh 60-80gm each. The first egg is the largest, and the next ones get smaller one or two days later.
The emu is the second-tallest living big bird after the ostrich. Emus are brown, flightless birds with soft feathers that may grow up to 1.9 meters in height. They also have long necks and legs. Emus go for weeks without eating, although they can travel enormous distances and sprint at 48 km/h when necessary.
Emu lays eggs in an intense green shade with blueish tones. The natural pigment progressively fades with exposure to light, changing the color of the surface to a greyish brown. Emu eggs range in size from 400 to 700 grams and are typically about 13 x 9 cm.
The ratites, including ostritches, emus, rheas, and kiwis, are a diversified group of giant flightless birds.. The common ostrich and the Somali ostrich are the only two species of ostrich that exist today. They are indigenous to Africa. They can run at 70 km/h, making them the quickest birds on land. They are raised worldwide, especially for their feathers which are used as dusters and ornaments. Additionally, their skin is used to make leather goods. The fact that ostriches are the heaviest living birds is noteworthy.
An ostrich egg is a massive, with an egg size measuring 15 cm long, 13 cm wide, and weighing 1.4 kg, on average. The shell is 1-2 mm thick and has a porosity of about 70%. They are spherical and smooth with a glossy surface.
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Well, that was quite a list! As you can see, many different types of birds and their eggs are as diverse as they are. Some are small and some are large. Some are colorful and some are not. But they all have one thing in common- they are all amazing!
So, the next time you see a bird, take a moment to appreciate all that it is and all that it does. And if you’re ever in the market for bird removal services, be sure to give AAAC Wildlife Removal a call! We would be more than happy to help you out!