You are currently viewing British Bird Egg Identification Chart

British Bird Egg Identification Chart

Finding bird eggs can be thrilling, whether in your garden or on a walk in the woods. However, it’s easy to get confused if you want to identify British bird eggs! Our birds’ eggs come in various sizes, shapes and colours, and if you’re determined to identify your latest find, you will need a bird egg identification chart. Fortunately, we have just the thing! To help you figure out which birds you have nesting in your garden or what nest you’ve stumbled across in the wild, we’ve put together a bird egg identification chart for some of our common British bird eggs. 

Before we take a look at our bird egg identification chart, though, you must be aware of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This law states that you cannot, under any circumstances, intentionally take, harm or destroy any wild bird, their eggs or their nests. You may face an unlimited fine, imprisonment for up to 6 months or both. So remember, you can look, but don’t touch. 

Let’s find out how to identify some British bird eggs! 

Blackbird

blackbird eggs identifiable by a bird egg identification chart

Size: 29 x 22 mm

Weight: 7.2 g

Clutch Size: 3–4 eggs

Nesting Season: March-July

Blackbird eggs have smooth, glossy shells of a pale blue colour, dotted with reddy shades of brown.

Although the nesting season is officially March – July, this can change depending on the weather. So, you may see blackbird chicks in their nests as late as August. A blackbird’s nest is usually a cup of small twigs, grass and plant material lined with mud and fine grass.

Blue Tit

blue tit eggs in a bird egg identification guide

Size: 16 x 12 mm

Weight: 1.1 g

Clutch Size: 5–12 eggs

Nesting Season: March-June

The eggs of blue tits are white with purple-brown spots and smooth, glossy shells.

Although most clutches contain between 5 and 12 eggs, there have been cases of blue tits laying up to 16 eggs.[i] A blue tit female will build her nest from moss and line it with soft feathers or fur.  

Bullfinch

British bird eggs from a bullfinch nest

Size: 19 x 55 mm

Weight: 2.1 g

Clutch Size: 4–7 eggs

Nesting Season: April-July

Bullfinch eggs are similar to those of a blackbird, with glossy pale blue shells. However, they are smaller and have more purple-brown spots.

A bullfinch nest is simply constructed using twigs and moss and hidden in bushes and woodland.   

Carrion Crow

carrion crow eggs from a bird egg identification guide

Size: 43 x 30 mm

Weight: 19.8 g

Clutch Size: 3–6 eggs

Nesting Season: April-May

A carrion crow’s eggs are a pale blue-green and speckled with dark brown and grey streaks.

Parents create a large nest out of anything they can find, including twigs, bones and rags, and hide them in tall bushes.   

Chaffinch

chaffinch bird eggs

Size: 19 x 55 mm

Weight: 2.2 g

Clutch Size: 4–5 eggs

Nesting Season: April-July

Chaffinch eggs are pale blue with purple-brown spots.

Although they are similar to bullfinch eggs, chaffinch eggs have markings all over the shell, whereas bullfinch eggs are only marked on one end. The chaffinch’s nest is built in a cup shape from moss and grass and lined with feathers and wool.  

Collared Dove

two british bird eggs from a collared dove

Size: 31 x 24 mm

Weight: 9.2 g

Clutch Size: 2 eggs

Nesting Season: February-October

collared dove’s eggs are white, with smooth, glossy shells.

Although their clutches are only small, with 2 eggs laid each time, they have 2 – 5 clutches each year, hence the early start to the nesting season. A collared dove nest is a simple bundle of sticks big enough to hold the mother and her eggs.

Dunnock

dunnock bird eggs

Size: 19 x 55 mm

Weight: 2.1 g

Clutch Size: 4–6 eggs

Nesting Season: April-July

The eggs of a dunnock are a bright blue and do not have any markings. They are similar in appearance to a starling egg; only a dunnock’s eggs are bigger.

Dunnocks build their small, neat nests with twigs and line them with moss and hair.  

Goldfinch

goldfinch bird eggs identified from a bird egg identification chart

Size: 17 x 13 mm

Weight: 1.5 g

Clutch Size: 3–7 eggs

Nesting Season: April-September

Goldfinch eggs are pale blue with red markings dotted sparsely around the shell.

Their nests are usually made of plant stems and grass, then lined inside with feathers, thistle, hair, or fur.

Great Tit

bird eggs of a great tit

Size: 18 x 14 mm

Weight: 1.7 g

Clutch Size: 5–11 eggs

Nesting Season: March-July

great tit’s eggs are a smooth white dotted with red-purple spots.

As cavity nesters, great tits prefer to build their nests in the hole of a tree or a similar tight spot. They will make their nest using thin twigs and roots, then line it with plant down and similar soft materials.

House Martin

Size: 19 x 13.3 mm

Weight: 1.7 g

Clutch Size: 4–5 eggs

Nesting Season: May-August

House martin eggs are plain white with a slight gloss to their shell.

This species will build its nests under the eaves of buildings, and if you find a colony on your property, you should leave it alone until all the chicks have gone. Their nests are built of mud and grass, lined with vegetable fibre and soft feathers.

House Sparrow

house sparrow bird eggs

Size: 22 x 16 mm

Weight: 2.9 g

Clutch Size: 3–7 eggs

Nesting Season: April-August

The eggs of a house sparrow are glossy white with dark black or grey spots.

House sparrows make their nests from various materials, mostly grass or straw. Like the house martin, house sparrows are known for nesting in our roofs. If you find a house martin nest on your property, only remove it once all the chicks have left it.

Lapwing

lapwing bird eggs

Size: 71 x 49 mm

Weight: 92 g

Clutch Size: 2–4 eggs

Nesting Season: March-July

A lapwing’s eggs are a matte brown-grey and covered in black splotches.

Lapwings are ground-nesting birds. As such, their nests are little more than a space in the ground lined with soft plant materials. Often, they will be in open areas to spot the approach of predators.   

Linnet

linnet bird eggs

Size: 18 x 13 mm

Weight: 1.7 g

Clutch Size: 4–6 eggs

Nesting Season: April-August

Linnet eggs are a pale blue colour with small brown or purple dots.

Linnet birds prefer to nest in thorn bushes, particularly gorse bushes. The female will build a cupped nest of grass, twigs and moss, then line it with wool and hair.

Long-Tailed Tit

long tailed tit bird eggs

Size: 14 x 11 mm

Weight: 0.9 g

Clutch Size: 6–9 eggs

Nesting Season: April-July

Eggs of a long-tailed tit are a glossy white with faint purple speckles.

A long-tailed tit builds its nest in a bottle shape, with an entrance near the top of the ‘roof’. It constructs it using moss and camouflages it with lichen, cobwebs and even paper stuck to the outside. The inside is lined with feathers.

Mallard

mallard british bird eggs

Size: 57 x 41 mm

Weight: 54 g

Clutch Size: 7–12 eggs

Nesting Season: March-July

Mallard eggs are a waxy texture and can be a creamy white, pale white, or buff colour with no markings.

Mallard ducks are ground nesters and prefer to nest close to water. The female will build her nest from leaves and grass and then line it with feathers plucked from her plumage.

Mistle Thrush

Size: 30 x 22 mm

Weight: 7.8 g

Clutch Size: 3–6 eggs

Nesting Season: February-August

A mistle thrush’s eggs are a pale blue colour with red-brown speckles.

The nest of a mistle thrush is large and often unkempt. You’ll likely spot plenty of odd materials used to build it, including plastic and paper. However, it’s based around mud, leaves and grass.

Robin

Size: 20 x 15 mm

Weight: 2.4 g

Clutch Size: 4–6 eggs

Nesting Season: April-August

Robin eggs are a white or buff colour with red-brown spots all over.

Robins are known for building their nests in strange places, from sheds to coat pockets. You’ll recognise their cup nest, made primarily from dead leaves and moss, lined with hair.

Siskin

Size: 16.5 x 12 mm

Weight: 15 g

Clutch Size: 2-6

Nesting Season: March-June

The eggs of a siskin are smooth and glossy, with a pale blue colour and purple speckles.

Siskins build their soft nests with twigs, moss and feathers. However, their nests are usually relatively high up in the trees.

Song Thrush

song thrush bird eggs

Size: 27 x 20 mm

Weight: 6 g

Clutch Size: 4–5 eggs

Nesting Season: March-August

Song thrush eggs are a glossy bright blue, speckled with black spots.

A song thrush will build its nest from grass, moss, roots and twigs, then line it with mud until it creates a neat cup shape.

Starling

starling bird eggs

Size: 30 x 21 mm

Weight: 7 g

Clutch Size: 4–5 eggs

Nesting Season: April-July

Starling eggs are smooth with a pale blue colouring, sometimes with brown speckles but often without.

To create a nest, a male starling will build the base from grass and leaves in a small cavity. The female will then complete it by lining it with grass, moss and feathers.

Using Our Bird Egg Identification Chart

With our bird egg identification chart, you’ll soon become an expert on all the British bird eggs you spot. Whenever you need it, whether you’re trying to identify a nest you found or are intrigued to see more bird eggs, our chart will be waiting for you!

Have you found any bird eggs we didn’t mention in our bird egg identification chart? Let us know what they look like, and we’ll try to help you!

Sources

  [i] https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/articles/blue-tit-diary

Author

  • Gemma Sharp

    Gemma Sharp is the resident writer for Garden Wildlife Direct, a supplier of premium bird food and accessories. She has had a genuine love for our feathered friends from a young age, and has dedicated a lot of her time to learning all there is to know about them. If you're struggling to pick the right bird feed for your garden, need help identifying a type of wild bird, or can't decide where to put a nesting box, Gemma is the person to go to! She is passionate about sharing her years of learnt knowledge with the public. In her free time, she can be found feeding birds at home with her three young boys.

    View all posts

Gemma Sharp

Gemma Sharp is the resident writer for Garden Wildlife Direct, a supplier of premium bird food and accessories. She has had a genuine love for our feathered friends from a young age, and has dedicated a lot of her time to learning all there is to know about them. If you're struggling to pick the right bird feed for your garden, need help identifying a type of wild bird, or can't decide where to put a nesting box, Gemma is the person to go to! She is passionate about sharing her years of learnt knowledge with the public. In her free time, she can be found feeding birds at home with her three young boys.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Andy a

    American Robin not British looks like dunnock to me

  2. John hollis

    I have found 4 white translucent eggs in a flat moss nest size is 12mm x10mm could anyone tell me what they are pls they were in a nest box they are from last year 2023

  3. Bruce Halcro

    These pics of British birds eggs that are shown shown are as good as any been done to identify British Birds eggs, but where are all the rest?!
    Has not a full range yet been covered?
    I have been lucky to have inherited an amazing antique Birds egg collection (circa 1920’s) & as they are not labelled I am now trying to identify what species they can be so require a good ref like this – or book to enable me to do this for my own discernment, as it would be unrealistic/too demanding for me to send pic’s in.
    So what can be provided please?

  4. Nigel Downes

    The photograph under ‘Robin’ shows blue eggs but the description is: ‘eggs are a white or buff colour with red-brown spots all over.’

  5. Cindy Swift

    These are for the most part midwest United States birds. I live in Missouri.
    In a suburb of Kansas City.

  6. Jo smith

    Those Robin eggs having an identity crisis????

  7. Chay

    Found this huge egg just outside my house on the ground in the open. I live in Oxford on the canal. Its about 80cm x 50cm. Plain white. Way bigger than most i can see online. Any idea what it is?

  8. John

    You’re showing quite a few smaller birds eggs as ? x55 mm surely the 55 mm is incorrect for bullfinch etc?

  9. Barbara

    Something has taken the chicks from blackbirds nest. Maybe a cat. Should I remove the nest to prevent it happening again.

  10. Mr Stevens

    I think the photo of the Robins eggs may be incorrect? The description and photo doesn’t match?

  11. Coo Geller

    Hello Gemma, so enjoyable to look at the eggs. Thank you!
    Just wondered it said the robin egg was white or buff with red brown speckles all over but then it showed it a deep blue colour. Do you know which is correct or are they sometimes either?
    Many thanks
    Coo

  12. S Dennis

    I’m looking for a British bird egg ID chart as a poster for our local school
    Can you help please?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.