How to Identify Different Types of Bird Eggs and Nests

There are many different types of bird nests and eggs, so knowing how to identify them is an important skill for any birder. It’s also a good idea to know what kind of eggs and nests you might find in your area, so you can prepare yourself if you ever encounter one in the wild or on your property. Here’s what you need to know about identifying bird eggs and nests, including where to find them and how they’re made, so you can always be ready to spot these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat!

Identify bird eggs and Nests

If you’re a bird enthusiast, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a great variety of bird eggs and nests out there. While all birds lay eggs, the size, shape, color, and pattern of the egg can vary drastically from species to species. Knowing how to identify different types of bird eggs and nests can help you identify the type of bird in your backyard.
Size: One of the easiest ways to distinguish between different types of bird eggs is by size. Generally, smaller eggs belong to smaller birds and larger eggs belong to larger birds. Shape: You can also look for different patterns and colors. A mottled egg may indicate a songbird, while an egg with a spotty pattern may be from a raptor. Nest Design: In addition to looking at the eggs, you can also examine the nest itself. Bird nests can vary widely in shape and complexity. Some birds build elaborate structures, while others just make a cup-shaped indentation in the ground. The type of material used to build the nest can also tell you what kind of bird you are looking at. For instance, a nest made from mud and grass may belong to a sparrow, while a nest made from twigs might belong to a woodpecker. Color: By familiarizing yourself with different types of bird eggs and nests, you can easily identify the type of birds in your backyard or even out on a walk in nature. With some practice, you’ll be able to recognize the signs of different birds so that you can enjoy learning more about them and appreciate their beauty in your environment. Nest Location: Nesting habits will vary depending on the type of bird. Birds that live near water tend to have floating nests which they often attach to branches overhanging water; these include grebes, ducks, gulls, and cormorants. Landbirds like warblers typically nest high up in trees or bushes; bluebirds prefer nesting boxes. Other birds, such as swallows, roost under bridges during the night because it provides shelter from predators. Incubation Period: Incubation periods vary among different species. On average, small birds take 12 days to incubate and large birds take 20 days to incubate. However, this varies according to many factors including location and climate. Hatchling Time: Typically small birds hatch within 12 hours of being laid whereas large bird hatchlings take 24 hours after being laid before hatching (again, this varies based on factors). If you’re lucky enough, you may even be able to watch the eggs hatch! This is a truly special experience as you’ll be able to witness the growth of the birds from egg to adult. It’s important to note that birds are easily disturbed by a human presence so you should try not to get too close. If you observe from a safe distance, you can watch them grow up in the wild and get a better understanding of their habitat and behavior.


Now that you know the basics of identifying bird eggs and nests, you can start exploring nature and looking for birds in your area. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced birder, it’s important to remember to use caution when approaching any bird’s nest or eggs. If a nest is disturbed or touched, the bird may abandon it, leaving the eggs unprotected. So take your time and enjoy the process of learning how to identify different types of bird eggs and nests!


How do you identify a bird egg?

To identify a bird egg, look for clues such as size, shape, color, texture, and markings. The size and shape of the egg can help narrow down the species of bird it belongs to. The color and texture of the eggshell can also be used to identify the species. Finally, look for any unique markings on the egg, such as spots or speckles, which can help to identify the bird.

What are the shapes of bird eggs?

Bird eggs come in a variety of shapes, including oval, round, pointed, and conical. Some species of birds lay eggs that are more elongated or have a pointed end. The shape of the egg can help to identify the species of bird it belongs to.

How many eggs do birds lay in one nest?

The number of eggs a bird lays in one nest can vary depending on the species. Some birds may lay as few as one egg, while others may lay up to a dozen or more. The number of eggs a bird lays in one nest can also depend on the time of year and the availability of food.

What is a bird's nest made of?

Bird nests are typically made of a variety of materials, including twigs, grasses, leaves, moss, mud, feathers, and other materials. The type of material used to build the nest can vary depending on the species of bird.

What is the easiest way to find a bird's nest?

The easiest way to find a bird's nest is to look for signs of activity, such as birds flying in and out of a particular area or birds gathering materials to build a nest. You can also look for nests in trees, shrubs, and other areas where birds may build their nests.
Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.