21 Birds That Lay Blue Eggs

21 Birds That Lay Blue Eggs

Birds are known to lay a wide range of egg colors which grab the attention of bird enthusiasts all around the world. From eggs that are white, brown, or speckled, to turquoise or pink, there is no limit to the color palette of avian eggs.

However; certain bird species pique the interest of both casual birdwatchers and professional ornithologists with their distinct blue-hued eggs.

These blue eggs – a fascinating peculiarity in nature’s palette – captivate many due to their unique appearance.

In this article, we take a look at 21 bird species that lay blue eggs. We’ll delve into these birds’ characteristics and their habitats.

21 Birds That Lay Blue Eggs

Blue eggs, attributed largely to a pigment called biliverdin, have long intrigued birdwatchers and ornithologists worldwide. They particularly stand out from the usual white or brown hues of other avian species’ eggs.

Such blue eggs are more common than you think and can range from the familiar American Robin to the exotic Blue-footed Booby.

Here are 21 bird species known for their distinctive blue egg-laying habits.

1. The Iconic Blue Egg Layers: American Robins

American Robins

Perhaps the most iconic bird associated with blue eggs is the American Robin – scientifically known as Turdus migratorius.

The phrase “Robin’s egg blue” often conjures vibrant images of teal or greenish-blue colors, closely resembling those found in an actual robin’s nest.

Typically laying between three to five eggs per clutch; these birds incubate their delicate cargo for a period close to two weeks before they hatch. Truly distinctive, Robin eggs are solid blue – they bear no markings.

2. Blue Jays: The Color-Coordinated Egg Layers

Blue Jays

Cyanocitta cristata, also known as the Blue Jay, is a bird species recognized for producing blue eggs.

These intelligent avians frequent backyards and bird feeders throughout North America.

The color range of their eggs varies from light bluish to brownish, often speckled with pale brown spots. Together, these eggs look like a perfectly coordinated blue, brown, and white ensemble.

Typically, a Blue Jay clutch contains between two and seven eggs; the period of incubation spans from 17 to 18 days.

3. Black Tinamou: The Ground-Dwelling Egg Layers

The Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi ) – is a ground-dwelling bird species native to South America and belongs to the Tinamou family. This unique breed lays only two eggs; they are bright blue and remarkably glossy during their breeding season which is March through November. It incubates these distinctively hued eggs on the ground.

4. Imitative Egg-Layers: The Common Mynas

The Common Mynas

Acridotheres tristis, or the Common Myna is a bird species originating from Asia.

Renowned for its ability to imitate human speech it’s also recognized by its distinct turquoise-colored eggs which may appear greenish at times.

A single clutch typically contains four to six of these unique eggs and incubates over 17-18 days.

5. Bluebirds: The Egg Layers Adorned with Blue Feathers

 Bluebirds

Belonging to the Sialia genus, the Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds all lay blue eggs.

They are typically pale blue in appearance – but can be occasionally white. Each female lays between two to seven eggs per clutch. The incubation period is generally between 11-19 days and can depend on the specific species of Bluebird.

6. Dunnocks: The Shy Layers of Eggs

Dunnocks

Known under the alias of hedge sparrows, Dunnocks – scientifically called Prunella modularis – are diminutive and bashful avians distinguished for their lustrous blue eggs.

A typical female Dunnock deposits a clutch comprising four to five brilliant blue eggs which seldom show any speckles. The incubation lasts 12 – 13 days.

7. The Versatile Egg Layers: European Starlings

European Starlings

The European Starlings – Sturnus vulgaris – are renowned for their adaptability and blue eggs. They have a striking ability to lay eggs in hues extending from light blue to greenish white.

Typically, each clutch holds between three and six eggs. Their versatility extends not only to egg color but also to environmental preferences. Starlings are known for laying eggs anywhere, ranging from trees to man-made constructions.

8. The Tiny Egg Layers: Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers

Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers – Polioptila caerulea – are known for their light blue eggs which are often stained with hues ranging from crimson to dark brown. This is a tiny bird that prefers nest building within the dense foliage of trees. Hence; it’s often an uncommon sight to see their unique colored eggs.

9. The Turquoise Egg Layers: Gray Catbirds

Gray Catbirds

Among birds that lay blue eggs, the Gray Catbirds – Dumetella carolinensis – distinguish themselves with their unique turquoise blue-green egg hue. Nestling within dense foliage, their nests are constructed on concealed branches; females characteristically deposit a range of one to six eggs.

10. Linnets: Masters of the Artistic Egg-Laying Craft

Linaria Cannabina

Nature lovers adore Linnets, Linaria cannabina, for their delightful songs. But these birds also charm with the turquoise blue of their eggs — dotted liberally with purple and brown markings.

11. Blackbirds: The Egg Layers of the Marshland

Blackbirds

There are several species of blackbirds. From red-winged or Rusty to Tricoloured Blackbirds. All of these species lay blue eggs. They typically inhabit marshes and wetlands. Their egg colors range from light blue to greenish-blue—adding a vibrant splash of color to their aqueous habitats.

12. Thrushes: The Masters of Songbird Egg Laying

Thrushes

Renowned for their melodious songs, thrushes – a family of perching birds – are also recognizable by their eggs’ light blue or bluish-green hue.

The distinct color and pattern variations exhibited across different thrush species contribute to the stunning diversity within these songbirds.

13. Snowy Egrets: The Water Bird Egg Layers

Snowy Egrets

Not only do Snowy Egrets, Egretta thula, captivate with their striking white feathers; but they also intrigue with their blue eggs. These elegant waterbirds – inhabitants of marshy wetlands – lay light-blue eggs in the comfort of their nests: a spectacle both profound and intriguing.

14. Egg Layers: The Nesting Magpies

The Nesting Magpies

With their distinctive black and white plumage, magpies lay blue eggs which are often discovered nestled in twig-constructed homes adorned with plant material. These oval treasures present a light blue-green hue with tiny spots of brown pepper across the smooth shell.

15. Goldfinches: Not as the Name Suggests!

Goldfinches

Contrary to what their name suggests, Goldfinches lay eggs that are light blue or white with tiny pale brown specks that are scattered across the eggshell. The female will lay anywhere from 2-7 eggs in a nest constructed with grasses and feathers.

16. Eurasian Jackdaw: The Egg Layers of Europe

Eurasian Jackdaw

The Eurasian Jackdaw –Corvus monedula – is a bird species prevalent throughout Europe and Asia. It lays strikingly blue eggs that range from light blue to greenish white. They typically nest in tree openings or rock crevices.

17. Herons: The Majestic Egg Layers

Herons

Members of the Heron family – the Great Blue Heron and Little Blue Heron lay light blue eggs. They construct nests in marshes or wetlands. The female lays roughly 2-7 eggs at a time.

18. Crows: Intelligent Egg-Layers

Crows

All boasting blue eggs, the American, Fish, Hawaiian, and Tamaulipas Crow species demonstrate fascinating behavioral traits; they are renowned for their problem-solving abilities.

Their eggs range from a light blue to a greenish-blue hue.

19. Petite Egg Layers: The Finches

House Finch

Known for their tiny size and vibrant colors, finches also lay blue eggs. The House Finch and Cassin’s Finch are specifically known to produce light-blue eggs. These add a touch of color to their nests that are meticulously built within trees or shrubs.

20. Urban Egg Layers: House Sparrows

House Sparrows

The House Sparrow is a bird species remarkably adapted to urban environments and lays light blue, hazel, or gray-speckled eggs. The nests can be found in buildings and other man-made structures. These birds can be found all over the world and the eggs have an incubation period of as little as 9 days and as long as 17 days.

21. Eurasian Bullfinch: The Egg Layers Marked with Crimson

Eurasian Bullfinch

Known for its vibrant plumage and light blue, crimson-marked eggs, the Eurasian Bullfinch is a bird species that serves as a visual feast to birdwatchers. Found in Europe and Asia, these birds build their nests in tree crevices and lay 2-7 eggs at a time.

Revealing The Mysteries Of Blue Eggs

Blue eggs are mainly caused by a bile pigment called biliverdin. The higher the concentration of this bile pigment the more intense the coloration of the shell. Besides this scientific explanation, there are evolutionary reasons as to why some eggs turn out to be blue.

Camouflage

Color plays a big part in camouflage, so it makes sense that an egg’s color may hide it from predators.

The blue hue potentially aids eggs in blending with their surroundings and is a primary strategy for reducing visibility to predators.

Blue eggs are more suitable for lighter environments where they blend in more. Furthermore; blue eggs are easier to keep an eye on from parents who are hunting and quickly checking back on their nest.

Temperature & UV Protection

The blue color serves as a form of temperature and UV control particularly in warmer and sunnier climates.

A blue color can reflect sunlight and protect against UV radiation. The sun’s radiation and heat can cause significant harm to fragile eggs, affecting the development of chicks and altering the duration of incubation. So a blue color egg can help prevent this from happening.

Indicators of Health and Nutrition

The egg’s hue may signal the health and nutritional status of the mother bird.

Studies indicate that birds on a healthier diet are prone to laying eggs with darker shades of blue. Some birds can infer the strength of color as a signal of fertility and the potential ability to care for offspring.

Patterns, Spots, and Blotches on Blue Eggs

Protoporphyrin is a pigment that is heavily responsible for the reddish-brown or black markings we find on blue eggs. These markings can provide extra camouflage and vary from species to species.

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