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British Bird Egg Identification Chart

August 2, 2022
bird nest found in the 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 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.  


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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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.


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 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!



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