What to Do If You Find a Bird Egg on the Ground: A Complete Guide

Introduction: An Overview of the Situation

Discovering a bird egg on the ground is an unexpected and intriguing find. Whether stumbled upon during a leisurely nature walk, in a backyard, or while tending to a garden, the presence of a bird egg can evoke curiosity, concern, and a desire to help.

In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive guidance on what to do when you come across a bird egg on the ground. By following the appropriate steps, you can make informed decisions and play a crucial role in supporting the potential life within that fragile shell.

We will explore various aspects of the situation, including identifying the bird species, assessing the egg’s viability, and understanding legal implications. Each section will provide valuable insights and practical advice to equip you with the knowledge needed to take appropriate action.

We will delve into how to check if the egg is viable, steps to take when the egg is intact, caring for the egg whether it is viable or not, and what to do after the egg hatches. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the topic, empowering you to approach encounters with bird eggs on the ground with confidence and compassion.

Let’s embark on this journey to unravel the mysteries of bird eggs and discover the best ways to ensure the welfare of these remarkable creations of nature.

What to Consider Before Taking Action

Before taking any action regarding the bird egg you have found, there are several important factors to consider:

Species Identification

Research and identify the species of the bird egg to make informed decisions regarding its care and potential intervention.

Egg Condition

Assess the egg’s condition, noting any visible signs of damage or abnormalities that could indicate its viability or abandonment.

Legal Considerations

Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations regarding bird eggs in your region to understand your responsibilities and restrictions.

Parental Care

Observe the surrounding area to determine if the parents are present, as attentive parents nearby suggest the egg is being cared for.

Nest Location

Attempt to locate the egg’s original nest and assess its condition, providing insight into the egg’s situation.

Time Elapsed

Consider the time that has passed since the egg was discovered, as it may impact the egg’s viability and the urgency of action required.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make informed decisions regarding the welfare of the bird egg and provide appropriate care or intervention when necessary.

How to Check if the Egg is Viable

Determining the viability of a bird egg requires careful examination and consideration of various factors. Follow these guidelines to assess its potential viability:

Visual Inspection

Inspect the egg for physical abnormalities, such as cracks, holes, or deformities.

Egg Shape

Consider the egg’s shape, as most bird eggs are oval or elliptical.

Egg Size and Weight

Compare the egg’s size and weight to typical measurements for the species in question.


Use the candling technique to observe internal structures by shining a light through the shell.

Egg Odor

Pay attention to any unusual odors emanating from the egg.

Incubation Period

Research the typical incubation period for the species whose egg you found.

Consult an Expert

Seek assistance from an expert if you are uncertain about the egg’s viability.

By examining the egg’s appearance, shape, size, weight, conducting candling, considering odors, and being aware of the incubation period, you can make a preliminary assessment of its viability. However, consulting an expert is always recommended for accurate determination.

How to Determine the Type of Bird

To accurately determine the type of bird from an egg, you can employ several methods that combine visual observation, nest identification, geographic location, vocalizations, and seeking expert advice. By considering these methods, you can enhance your ability to identify the species.

Visual Observation

Start by visually examining the egg’s size, shape, and color. Compare these characteristics to reference guides or online resources that provide information on various bird eggs. Look for distinctive patterns or markings on the shell, as they can offer valuable clues about the species.

Nest Identification

Inspect the immediate surroundings where you found the egg. Look for signs of a nearby nest, such as twigs, feathers, or other bird-related materials. Take note of the location and any distinguishing features of the nest. Comparing the egg you found to the typical eggs laid by birds known to inhabit the area can aid in identification. Consider consulting local birding resources or experts for further assistance.

Geographic Location

Different bird species have specific habitats and ranges. Take into account the location where you discovered the egg, as it can provide valuable insights into the possible species. Research the common bird species in your region and familiarize yourself with their nesting habits. This knowledge will help narrow down the possibilities and increase the accuracy of your identification.


Listen for any nearby bird calls or songs, as some bird species may vocalize even if they are not present at the nest. Record the sounds if possible and compare them to online bird sound databases or seek the opinion of experts. Vocalizations can provide important clues when combined with other identification methods.

Seek Expert Advice

If you encounter difficulties in identifying the bird species based on visual observation and other factors, reach out to local birding groups, wildlife rehabilitation centers, or ornithologists for assistance. Provide them with detailed information about the egg’s appearance, the nest, geographic location, and any vocalizations you may have recorded. Their expertise and experience can greatly contribute to accurately determining the type of bird.

What to Do When the Egg is Intact

When you come across an intact bird egg on the ground, there are several steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome for both the egg and the bird.

Assess the Situation and Ensure Safety

First and foremost, avoid disturbing the egg unnecessarily. Birds have a strong instinct to incubate their eggs and will often return to the nest even if it has been disturbed. Therefore, refrain from touching or moving the egg unless it is in immediate danger.

Assess the situation and determine if the egg is at risk. Intervention may be necessary if it is lying in a busy area where it could be stepped on or exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Attempt to Locate the Nest

If the egg is in immediate danger, try to locate the nearby nest. Look for signs of a nest, such as twigs, feathers, or other nesting materials. The nest could be situated in a tree, shrub, or even on the ground in some cases. Carefully place the egg back in the nest, ensuring it is positioned securely.

Create a Makeshift Nest

If you cannot find the nest or if it is inaccessible, create a makeshift nest for the egg. Find a small container, such as a shallow box or a plastic container with holes for ventilation. Fill it with soft nesting material like grass, leaves, or shredded paper. Gently place the egg in the makeshift nest, ensuring it is stable and secure.

Monitor the Egg from a Distance

After ensuring the egg is in a safe and stable environment, it is important to monitor it from a distance. Avoid attempting to incubate the egg yourself, as it requires specialized conditions and expertise that are best left to the bird’s natural parents. Instead, observe the egg periodically to check for any changes or signs of parental activity.

Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary

If you are unsure about the best course of action or encounter any challenges during the process, seek assistance from local wildlife rehabilitation centers, bird experts, or veterinarians. They can provide guidance and support to ensure the egg’s well-being.

Remember, the goal is to give the egg the best chance of survival by providing a safe environment and reuniting it with its natural parents whenever possible.

6. How to Care for a Viable Egg

Caring for a viable egg is an exciting opportunity to support new life. To give the egg the best chance of successful hatching, follow these essential steps:

6.1 Maintain the Ideal Temperature and Humidity

The right temperature and humidity are crucial for the egg’s development. Aim for a stable temperature of around 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit (37-38 degrees Celsius). Use a dedicated incubator or create a makeshift incubation environment, ensuring the egg is placed on a soft cloth or tissue.

Regulate humidity levels at approximately 40-50% by misting the egg lightly or placing a water-filled container nearby.

6.2 Handle the Egg with Care

Eggs are delicate, so handle them with extreme caution. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the egg to avoid any contaminants that could harm the developing embryo.

Minimize movement and rolling of the egg to prevent disruption. If you need to move it, do so gently and with steady hands.

6.3 Monitor the Egg’s Progress

Regular monitoring is vital for the embryo’s health and development. Use the candling technique to observe the growth of the embryo. Shine a bright light through the egg to reveal internal structures, veins, blood vessels, and the embryo itself.

Keep a record of candling results and observations to track the egg’s progress and identify any potential issues.

6.4 Seek Professional Assistance, if Needed

Caring for a viable egg can be challenging, so don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Wildlife rehabilitators, avian experts, or local bird organizations can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Prioritize the well-being of the egg and potential hatchling. If you’re unable to provide necessary care or notice signs of distress or lack of development, consult experts for specialized assistance.

By following these guidelines and providing appropriate care, you give the viable egg the best chance to hatch and thrive. Patience, diligence, and respect for the delicate nature of the egg are key to supporting the miracle of new life.

7. How to Care for a Non-Viable Egg

When dealing with a non-viable or abandoned bird egg, it’s important to handle it with care and take appropriate steps to ensure it doesn’t pose health risks or harm the environment. Follow these guidelines:

7.1 Dispose of the Egg Properly

Dispose of the non-viable egg responsibly:

  1. Put on disposable gloves to protect yourself.
  2. Choose a suitable location away from frequented areas.
  3. Dig a small hole approximately six inches deep.
  4. Gently place the egg into the hole and cover it with soil.
  5. Firmly press down the soil to secure the egg and prevent easy access by scavengers.
  6. Dispose of gloves in a sealed bag or container to prevent contamination.

7.2 Educate Others

Take the opportunity to educate others about bird conservation and the importance of leaving non-viable eggs undisturbed. Share this information with friends, family, or local wildlife organizations to raise awareness and promote responsible behavior.

7.3 Report Your Findings

If you come across an abandoned nest or multiple non-viable eggs, consider reporting your findings to local wildlife authorities or bird rehabilitation centers. They can monitor the situation and contribute to conservation efforts.

7.4 Observe from a Safe Distance

If unsure about an egg’s viability, observe it from a safe distance. This allows you to monitor the situation without interfering with natural processes, as some birds may temporarily leave their nests and return later.

7.5 Respect Legal Regulations

Respect local regulations regarding wild bird eggs. Familiarize yourself with applicable laws and regulations in your area. Consult wildlife authorities or bird rehabilitation centers if you have doubts or concerns.

By handling non-viable bird eggs responsibly and respecting nature’s processes, you contribute to the conservation of bird populations and their habitats. Remember, even non-viable eggs play a crucial role in the ecosystem, providing nourishment for scavengers and aiding in the natural decomposition process.

What Steps to Take After the Egg Hatches

Once the egg hatches and a tiny bird emerges, there are important steps to ensure its well-being and development:

Observe the Hatching Process

Closely observe the hatching process, noting the bird’s emergence and any difficulties it faces.

Allow Natural Drying

Let the bird dry naturally without interference, avoiding premature handling that can harm delicate feathers.

Create a Warm Environment

Provide a warm, draft-free space for the bird since it can’t regulate its body temperature effectively.

Offer Suitable Food and Water

Research the bird’s dietary needs and provide appropriate nourishment, seeking expert advice if necessary.

Seek Expert Guidance

Consult wildlife rehabilitators, bird experts, or veterinarians for proper care and specific species guidance.

Monitor the Bird’s Progress

Watch for healthy growth, feeding habits, and abnormal changes. Seek expert evaluation if needed.

By following these steps, you give the bird the best chance to thrive and become a healthy adult.


In this blog post, we explored important considerations when encountering a bird egg. Let’s recap the key points and provide a final recommendation.

Recap of Main Points

Understand the context and implications of finding a bird egg. Assess viability and determine the bird species. Care for viable and non-viable eggs. Take steps after hatching.

Emphasizing Non-Interference

Respect wildlife and observe eggs from a safe distance. Witness fascinating behaviors exhibited by birds.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Contact local wildlife rehabilitation centers, ornithologists, or bird rescue organizations when necessary.

Legal Considerations

Be aware of legal regulations and protect bird eggs according to wildlife protection laws.

Encouraging Ongoing Learning

Continue learning about birds through resources, books, websites, and bird-watching groups.

In conclusion, encountering a bird egg is an opportunity to appreciate nature. Follow the guidelines to make informed decisions and contribute to bird populations’ well-being. Each wildlife encounter invites us to learn and protect the natural world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I find a bird egg on the ground?

If you find a bird egg on the ground, there are several steps you can take. First, assess the situation and ensure the egg is not in immediate danger. If it is, try to locate the nearby nest and place the egg back securely. If you can’t find the nest or it’s inaccessible, create a makeshift nest with soft nesting material and monitor the egg from a distance. Seek professional assistance if needed.

How can I determine if a bird egg is viable?

To determine the viability of a bird egg, you can visually inspect it for physical abnormalities, consider its shape, size, and weight, use the candling technique to observe internal structures, pay attention to any unusual odors, research the typical incubation period for the species, and consult an expert for accurate determination.

How can I identify the type of bird from an egg?

To identify the type of bird from an egg, you can visually observe its size, shape, and color, look for signs of a nearby nest and compare the egg to typical eggs of birds in the area, consider the geographic location where you found the egg, listen for bird calls or songs, and seek expert advice from local birding groups or ornithologists.

What should I do when I find an intact bird egg on the ground?

When you find an intact bird egg on the ground, avoid unnecessary disturbance. Assess the situation and determine if the egg is at risk. If it’s in immediate danger, try to locate the nest and place the egg back securely. If you can’t find the nest, create a makeshift nest and monitor the egg from a distance. Seek professional assistance if unsure or encountering difficulties.

How should I care for a viable bird egg?

To care for a viable bird egg, maintain the ideal temperature and humidity, handle the egg with care, monitor its progress using the candling technique, and seek professional assistance if needed. Providing






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *