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British Birds’ Eggs

British birds’ eggs are found in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Although the default colour of a bird’s egg is white due to the calcium carbonate from which the shell is made, other pigments can cause eggs to take on different colours and patterns.

Passerines tend to lay coloured eggs: birds that build their nests in trees are more likely to have blue or green eggs while those who build their nests near the ground usually produce brown or speckled eggs to help with camouflage.

Blackbird Eggs

01

Blackbird

Turdus merula

Smooth, glossy, pale blue-green eggs with reddish-brown spots
Size – 29 x 21 mm
Weight – 7.2 g
Clutch size – 3-4 eggs

Starling Eggs

02

Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Smooth, glossy, pale blue eggs, sometimes with brown markings
Size – 30 x 21 mm
Weight – 7.0 g
Clutch size – 4-5 eggs

Chaffinch Eggs

03

Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs

Smooth, glossy, pale blue eggs, with purple-brown splotches
Size – 19 x 15 mm
Weight – 2.2 g
Clutch size – 4-5 eggs

Goldfinch Eggs

04

Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Smooth, glossy, pale blue eggs, with reddish markings
Size – 17 x 13 mm
Weight – 1.5 g
Clutch size – 5-7 eggs

Song Thrush Eggs

05

Song thrush

Turdus philomelos

Smooth, glossy, bright blue eggs, with black spots
Size – 27 x 20 mm
Weight – 6.0 g
Clutch size – 4 eggs

Blue Tit Eggs

06

Blue tit

Cyanistes caeruleus

Smooth, glossy, white eggs, with purple or reddish brown spots
Size – 16 x 12 mm
Weight – 1.1 g
Clutch size – 5-16 eggs

Linnet Eggs

07

Linnet

Linaria cannabina

Smooth, non-glossy, pale blue eggs, with fine purple or brown spots
Size – 18 x 13 mm
Weight – 1.7 g
Clutch size – 4-5 eggs

Robin Eggs

08

Robin

Erithacus rubecula

Smooth, white or buff eggs with reddish-brown spots
Size – 20 x 15 mm
Weight – 2.4 g
Clutch size – 4-5 eggs

Mallard Eggs

09

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Smooth, waxy, creamy-white, buff, or pale green eggs with no markings
Size – 57 x 41 mm
Weight – 54 g
Clutch size – 7-14 eggs

House Sparrow Eggs

10

House sparrow

Passer domesticus

Smooth, glossy, white eggs with grey or black speckles
Size – 22 x 16 mm
Weight – 2.9 g
Clutch size – 3-7 eggs

Mistle Thrush Eggs

11

Mistle thrush

Turdus viscivorus

Smooth, glossy, pale blue eggs with reddish-brown spots
Size – 30 x 22 mm
Weight – 7.8 g
Clutch size – 3-6 eggs

Herring Gull Eggs

12

Herring gull

Larus argentatus

Smooth, non-glossy, pale green eggs with brown blotches
Size – 47 x 33 mm
Weight – 26.0 g
Clutch size – 2-5 eggs

Lapwing Eggs

13

Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

Smooth, non-glossy, buff or stone coloured eggs with black blotches
Size – 71 x 49 mm
Weight – 92.0 g
Clutch size – 2-3 eggs

Wood Pigeon Eggs

14

Wood pigeon

Columba palumbus

Smooth, glossy, white eggs with no markings
Size – 41 x 29 mm
Weight – 18.9 g
Clutch size – 2 eggs

Long-Tailed Tit Eggs

15

Long-tailed tit

Aegithalos caudatus

Smooth, glossy, white eggs with purple spots
Size – 14 x 11 mm
Weight – 0.9 g
Clutch size – 6-8 eggs

Bullfinch Eggs

16

Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Smooth, glossy, pale blue eggs with purple spots
Size – 19 x 15 mm
Weight – 2.1 g
Clutch size – 4-7 eggs

Carrion Crow Eggs

17

Carrion crow

Corvus corone

Smooth, glossy, pale blue-green eggs with brown and grey markings
Size – 43 x 30 mm
Weight – 19.8 g
Clutch size – 3-4 eggs

Yellowhammer Eggs

18

Yellowhammer

Emberiza citrinella

Smooth, glossy, white eggs with purple markings
Size – 21 x 16 mm
Weight – 2.9 g
Clutch size – 3-4 eggs

Dunnock Eggs

19

Dunnock

Prunella modularis

Smooth, glossy, bright blue eggs with no markings
Size – 19 x 15 mm
Weight – 2.1 g
Clutch size – 4-6 eggs

Great Tit Eggs

20

Great tit

Parus major

Smooth, glossy, white eggs with reddish-purple spots
Size – 18 x 14 mm
Weight – 1.7 g
Clutch size – 7-15 eggs

Remember in the UK wild birds are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is  illegal to intentionally take or destroy the eggs of any wild bird or have in one’s possession an egg that has been taken in contravention of the Act. It is also illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb any nesting bird listed on Schedule 1.

If you have knowledge of the whereabouts of any birds’ nests, particularly rarer breeds, then please be careful with that information. Do not openly discuss or post any information online that could be used by egg thieves even when the breeding season is over.

If you want to find out more about the identifying features of birds’ eggs then you may find these books interesting:

BIRD SPOT FORUMS

Bird Spot Shop

Bird care, books, gifts, and more

A Bird Friendly Garden

Create a haven for wild birds

Explore more

Collective Nouns For Birds

Magpies And Superstition

British Birds Of Prey

10 Remarkable Birds’ Nests

British Garden Birds

22 Of The World’s Most Colourful Birds

14 Responses

  1. I’ve found two cracked open eggs in a park- they are light brown with dark brown spots and are 50mm and I cannot find any matches to species – please help🙏

  2. Found a nest in a bird box from last year there are 4 very small white eggs. The nest moss lined and very small

  3. Ive found an egg whilst weeding my borders. First one in over thirty years. Very strange place to find it.hoping it will hatch. Anyone know how long it takes?

  4. Found a completely white egg, partially buried under a hedg in our garden, 85 mm long/55 mm diameter. Looks to big for a mallard. Any ideas?

    1. Wood Pigeons eggs are completely white. I have just found half of one in my garden and suspect the Magpies have had it

  5. In compost bin on our allotment, a nest quite roughly made, small, very small brown eggs in it – 4 or 5 (possibly more)… I cannot find any eggs of common birds which are brown and have no markings at all. Can any one help?

  6. Found a nest on the ground today (18th May 2022) underneath a tarpaulin on the allotment with one cream coloured egg in it about the size of a thumbnail. The nest is perfectly round and lined with grass and dry moss. Any ideas what it could be? We are in Bishop’s Waltham, near Southampton and there are plenty of Skylarks in our area but I would be surprised if they wanted to build a nest under a tarpaulin that has been covering the ground all winter. Photo available on request – can’t see how to upload it here.

  7. Found a large heavy container full of compost knocked over on my patio. Amongst the spilled compost was a light brown /orange hen-sized egg. Must have been a big bird to have done this. Suggestions would be appreciated.

      1. I recently found a free range egg with the British lion marque and producer’s code on it, buried in a garden border! It was fully in tact. Think it was left by a fox. No idea where it acquired it!

  8. Have located in rural Cheshire some 3 egg shells presumably predated from a nest brown grey pullet egg size but more grey than chicken eggs. Any idea what they might be? We also have a mistle thrush nest on 3rd clutch. The 1st set of juveniles seemed to join in with air support against jackdaws when 2nd set left nest. Is this normal?

  9. Found a nest on the ground in my garden with 5 eggs in it. They are about the size of pegeon eggs but brown speckled. Can’t identify them. Any ideas? Eggs measure 37 x29 mm.

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