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UK Bird Egg Identification

Updated March 23, 2017

The size, shape and colour of bird eggs vary widely among species. The wood pigeon is the most frequently seen bird in the United Kingdom, according to a study by the British Trust for Ornithology, followed by the chaffinch, blackbird, wren and robin.

Wood Pigeon

The wood pigeon is mostly grey with a pink-tinged breast. It has a white, green and purple patch on its neck. It builds its nests from twigs in trees or on buildings. The task of incubating the eggs is shared by adults. The wood pigeon's eggs are glossy white and smooth to the touch. They are elliptical in shape and measure 1 1/5 inches by 1 3/5 inches.

Chaffinch

The patterned plumage of the chaffinch makes it hard to spot on the ground. It may be recognised in flight by the white outer tail feathers and a flash of white on the wings. A chaffinch nest is cup-shaped and constructed from grass, wool, spiders’ webs, moss and feathers. It is usually found in trees or shrubs. Chaffinch eggs are light blue with purple and brown patches. They are smooth and glossy and measure about 3/5 inch by 4/5 inch.

Blackbird

Blackbirds are easily recognisable due to their black colour and contrasting yellow eye ring and bill. The nest is cup-shaped and messily constructed from twigs, grass and mud. Nests may be found in bushes, hedgerows and sometimes outbuildings. Blackbird eggs are light greenish-blue with reddish-brown spots. They measure around 9/10 inch by 1 1/10 inch and are smooth and glossy.

Wren

Wrens are small and flighty with deep brown plumage and a short tail. They construct several ball-shaped nests from grass, leaves and moss. These can be found in banks, trees or walls. The eggs are white with red spots. They are smooth and glossy and measure approximately 1/2 inch by 3/5 inch.

Robin

The Robin has a bright orange-red breast. It has olive-brown upper parts and a white belly. Its nest is constructed with moss, hair, wool, grass and leaves and may be found in walls, dead trees or banks. The eggs are matt white or pale blue with reddish-brown spots. They measure approximately 3/5 inch by 4/5 inch and are heavier at one end.

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About the Author

Justin Schamotta began writing in 2003. His articles have appeared in "New Internationalist," "Bizarre," "Windsurf Magazine," "Cadogan Travel Guides" and "Juno." He was a deputy editor at Corporate Watch and co-editor of "BULB" magazine. Schamotta has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Plymouth University and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University.