My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Do you know your Bird Eggs? [QUIZ 2]

Looking at each egg will make you wonder what advantages or disadvantages it might have. Take for example cliff nesting birds who building their nest on large ledges. Maybe those eggs which are more pointed are less likely to roll off the ledge because they will instead roll in a tight arch?? Why are birds eggs colored differently?? Maybe from a predator’s vantage those green or blue eggs could look like a hole in the vegetation?? Those birds with white eggs might not need to be camouflage because both parents take turns incubating the eggs while protecting the white coloring from predators?? Maybe cavity nesting birds require that white coloring so that the parents don’t accidently break the egg while in the darkness of the cavity?? Are duck eggs oilier than normal eggs to help keep them more waterproof? So many questions that are being looked at by ornithologist today and their findings are helping us understand the unique features in the development of these eggs.

Eastern Towhee Nest

Checking out an Eastern Towhee Nest.

By posting these two birdQUIZs, I am hoping you will also look closer at each egg and try thinking why each egg looks the way that it does. This exercise will help you finding the proper owner of the broken or hatched egg shell that you find laying on the ground. Good Luck with the quiz!!







Each egg (above photos) comes from one of the six birds that are listed below. I strongly suggest using any reference bird egg or nest guide that is available to you. Answers to this quiz can be found on the bottom of the page. Part 1 of the quiz with 6 other birds were also done in yesterdays post. Remember . . . this isn’t an actual test it is just something to do for fun!

tuti.jpg easc.jpg

Tufted Titmouse usually have 5-6 eggs. Incubation is done by the female for 12-14 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 15-18 days. They nest around deciduous or coniferous woodlands in a tree cavity or old woodpecker hole.

Eastern Screech Owl usually have 4-5 eggs. Incubation is done by female for 26 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 30-32 days. They nest in a natural cavity or old woodpecker hole a variety of habitats including woodlots, forest, swamps, parks, orchards and suburban gardens.

baea.jpg ospr.jpg

Bald Eagle usually have 2 eggs. Incubation is done by both parents for 35-46 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 10-11 weeks from hatching. The nest can be found near lakes, rivers and the coast in large conspicuous structure in a large tree.

Osprey usually have 3 eggs. Incubation is done by both parents for 32-33 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 51-59 days from hatching. The nest can be found near water on lakes, rivers, estuaries and on the coast in a tree-top or rocky outcrop overlooking a stretch of water (around here they utilize telephone poles).

rthu.jpg tuvu.jpg

Ruby-throated Hummingbird usually have 2 eggs. Incubation is done by the female for 16 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 19 days from hatching. The nest can be found on a tree or shrub over a wide variety of wooded habitats.

Turkey Vulture usually have 2 eggs. Incubation is done by both parents for 37-41 days. Nestlings fledge the nest after 11 weeks after hatching. The nest can be found in a variety of habitats but typically choose secluded and undisturbed sites. They are found on the ground in a cave, hollow log laying on the ground or in an unused building.


NOTE: The egg photos come from the Allegany State Park’s Red House Museum’s egg collection, which have the required educational permits for using these eggs for educational purposes. * It is illegal to possess bird eggs, bird nest, bird feather or any protected migratory dead bird without proper federal and state special purpose salvage permits.* The collection was donated to the park from a private collection that originated from a collector from the late 1890’s to early 1900’s. Each and every egg is very fragile, so consider the eggs age when comparing its coloring to the books photos. All reference material for this post comes from “A Guide to the Nest, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds (second edition).” (1997) by Paul J. Baichich and Colin J.O. Harrison, Academic Press. and Ornithology (second edition) (1994) by Frank Gill.

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8 responses

  1. Kaz

    Tom- I seen your egg post and immediately thought you might be able to identify this nest for me?

    20 December 2007 at 7:54 pm

  2. Lisa at Greenbow

    Mon@rch, Mon@rch, Mon@rch, Although I find this interesting it does stretch the brain cells which are already filled with cookies, punch and all the goodies being served during this time of year. I’ve probably had too much sugar to stay awake and study for these finals…Besides its raining and its time to go to bed where there will be more sugar plums dancing in my head, along with bird eggs of the most lovely sort. Speckled, splotched, smooth and textured. Ain’t nachure grand!

    P.S. I vote House Sparrow on the nest Kaz is showing you. I think the little weavers build the most intersting nests. I found a whole colony built in one tree. By the time I got back out into the country where it was located to take its picture the farmer had decided to tear it down. Maybe because I had stopped so long to watch them in their more native-like habitat. It was quite an engineering marvel. It is depressing to see them clutter up signs in town and be so aggressive to the native birds.

    20 December 2007 at 8:25 pm

  3. Wow Tom!
    This is a very interesting post. I have never looked into a nest! I always think it would be rude of me.
    I would love to see the bird’s eggs but I thought it would upset the parents. I think the studing the eggs is very interesting. I do agree knowing the eggs would be nice if I find any broken eggs.
    I shall get some reference books and start studing!
    Thanks for the post.
    Bird’s eggs and nest. I do love it!

    20 December 2007 at 9:38 pm

  4. @ Kaz, I need to look though my books but without pulling out any reference material my first guess would be a mouse nest! I would have shaken the tree to see if a mouse runs out (I see them in the tree’s from time to time)! Looking closer the fine chewed grass reminds me of much of the mice nest I find in my bluebird boxes! I will pull my bird nest books out and see if I can find any bird nest that would match! Any details you can give on its location? How high off the ground, habitat, etc??
    @ Lisa – LOL, sorry to try and get your sugar working using all those brain cells! LOL
    @ Sherry – you do need to be careful when looking into a nest! I always use a mirror on a pole as to not leave my scent (predators to follow)! Many of the eggs I find are on the ground or just after flushing the bird off the nest (looking down seeing it, whoops)! Thanks again!

    20 December 2007 at 10:13 pm

  5. I enjoy reading the comments just as much as the post.
    Wish I had more time to dig out our books and try these quizzes. I went to your post about the mice in the bluebird box and Lily looked intently at the video.

    20 December 2007 at 11:14 pm

  6. This is a very educational test. I had to look up the answers but now I know. I don’t know if you already answered (but I couldn’t find it) but how big are those trays?

    By the way, I was very impressed with the great displays they have in the Administration Building there at your Allegany State Park. You get a size perspective of the owls and some of the other animals I hadn’t seen before in person.

    21 December 2007 at 8:57 am

  7. I got the titmouse & hummingbird eggs right, at least! Considering how suspicious & distrustful the local birds are of virtually everything, I don’t go out of my way looking for their nests. I don’t want to scare them off.
    Although they’re done for ’07, Cornell’s nest box cams may also be a good resource for learning about eggs;

    21 December 2007 at 1:18 pm

  8. @ Toni – So glad you enjoyed the post with the mice and it can also wake my cats out of a dead sleep! It is wonderful you took the time to pull your books out!
    @ Erie – thanks and those trays are 3 inches by 3 inches (I didn’t but had to measure them)! These eggs are in the museum and probably have seen then when you were there! This winter I am going to push to have those changed with some other eggs that we have! I figure 2 years is long enough! I love the bobcat that is in their now!
    @ Lana – LOL, you win for trying and it is the best way of learning! Thanks and will check that site out!

    21 December 2007 at 11:38 pm

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