PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bird Eggs

All bird species lay eggs, but the size, shape, and color of those egg shells varies greatly as a result of adaptations that camouflage the eggs, making them less conspicuous to predators. Egg size varies with the size of the bird – and that influences the condition of the bird at hatching and increases the length of time that an egg is incubated. Larger birds can lay eggs that contain a lot of nutrients, thus the chick that emerges from the egg is more developed. In the case of birds like Killdeer, Bobwhite, and sandpipers the chick leaves the nest within a few hours and finds food on its own. On the opposite extreme, small birds like wrens, warblers, woodpeckers, and sparrows must lay small eggs because of the adult’s small size – thus most development takes place in the nest after hatching and requires considerable parental care.