The garden bird nesting season really gets going through April. Early birds such as crows, rooks and long tailed tits may begin building their nests in February and Blackbirds can begin laying eggs in March. Officially the nesting season is from February through to August although most birds are laying eggs through spring so from anytime now, you may begin to find broken egg shells in the garden and be curious as to which bird created them.
Great Tit clutch of eggs: David Tipling (rspb-images.com)
Being Easter, it's a good time to get to know some of the colours, sizes and shapes of our garden bird eggs. Dunnocks and Song Thrushes generally produce the brightest blue eggs but starling eggs are also a pretty paler blue. Even the pale, creamy speckled eggs of sparrows robins and tits have a delicate beauty of their own.
When the young birds have hatched, the parents do remove the broken shells to keep the nest as clean as possible. Rather than just flicking the broken pieces out, they prefer to fly them away from the nest location so that predators don't become aware of the nest.
Of course, we must never go looking for eggs in nests or disturb them at all. Deliberate wild bird and nest disturbance and egg collecting is illegal. If you find a whole egg on the ground, you could gently put it back in the nest that you are sure that it came from, otherwise, it is unfortunately best to leave it alone or place it in a secluded spot and let nature take its course. Incubating eggs is a very specialist practice and only wild birds or trained rehabilitators should attempt it. You can search help-wildlife to find your nearest centre if you need advice.
There are some lovely bird egg books available if you're keen to learn more about them and there are some fun egg related gifts at the RSPB online shop.
Happy Easter and happy bird watching from us all at the RSPB!
The Flatford Wildlife Garden is currently closed but scheduled to re-open soon on Monday 12thApril 2021 everyday 10.30am-4pm. Find more on the Flatford Wildlife Garden Website.
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