Bird Egg Colors
Why are bird eggs different colors?
Evolution has brought about a number of colorations and designs in egg
appearance over time for a number of possible reasons. Generally, most
bird and almost all reptile eggs are white and many agree that this is the
original color of laid eggs. Birds that lay their eggs in cavities are
If a bird lays its eggs on the ground, the coloration it may have is to
protect the egg from predation by blending it to the ground cover. There
is an array of different coloration that suits this purpose including
blues, greens and various other markings to break it to blend with the
land. This is the case with most exposed eggs whether on the ground or not.
A second purpose to darker eggs is to shield it from harmful sun radiation.
especially if the eggs are exposed.
Not an easy question to answer. Some people think birds with more exposed
nests lay more speckled or mottled eggs for camoflauge, other colors, I
don't think anyone really knows. This is an important thing for young
students to remember: science is not a lot of facts to be learned, science
is a process of learning and there are many many things about nature and all
other science subjects that future biologists and scientists may learn.
More information about bird eggs can be found in The Birder's Handbook,
which is in many libraries, along with other very useful books about birds,
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Update: June 2012