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.
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!! (more…)
Bird Eggs come in an array of shapes and sizes. They can be found elliptical, spherical or even oval in shape. Smaller eggs (like the Hummingbird) are the size of a pea and the larger eggs (like the Ostrich) can almost be the size of a football. Eggs are sometimes colored in ways of making them appear to be camouflage so that potential enemies are unable to locate them. An example would be the Killdeer who will lay her eggs on the rocky ground but assist in distracting the predator away with an injured wing display. Some species of birds have colors that will vary from egg to egg where others will always have the same reliable pattern. Many of our cavity nesting birds will have white or neutral colored eggs since they do not need their eggs camouflaged. Ducks eggs are larger in size in proportion of their adult sized body. Ducklings need to be ready to swim away as soon as they are born where most other nestlings are born feather-less and helpless. They do most of their developing within the first few weeks in the nest.
There are many different things to take in consideration when identifying the eggs of birds. Size, shape and coloring are the main ingredients in making the eggs identification but they are not always the most important details. Behavior and the birds natural history is sometimes very helpful way to identify a broken (or hatched open) egg that you might find on the ground. The birdQUIZ below is designed in helping you use everything I talked about in making the proper identification of these eggs!! Good Luck! (more…)