Spotting colored eggshells around the large tree in your yard will naturally have you curious about which types of birds laid the blue eggs. I’ll tell you ahead!
What birds lay blue eggs? These birds lay blue eggs:
- American robin
- House finch
- Gray catbird
- Yellow-billed magpie
- European starling
- Rusty blackbird
- Eastern bluebird
- Common myna
- Blue jay
- Black tinamou
As the above list illustrates, blue eggs are only somewhat common in bird species, and they can come from a multitude of different birds. This article will be your guide to the birds that lay blue eggs. I’ll talk a bit about the birds themselves as well as their eggs, so keep reading!
11 Bird Species That Lay Blue Eggs
Where does that gorgeous color robin’s egg blue come from? Why, the American robin, of course.
The American robin also goes by the name thrush. In North America, no thrushes are bigger than this species.
American robins are distinct for their rounded abdomens, pointed tails, and coloration. Their bodies are usually brown or gray with an orange belly.
Although the American robin doesn’t have overly impressive plumage, the eggs it lays are the real showstopper. The American Robin eggs are often a distinct, vivid shade of teal, sometimes with brown polka dots throughout.
Why the blue color? Female American robins contain a pigment known as biliverdin in their bodies. The healthier the bird is, some experts believe, the bluer the eggs!
Another North American bird that lays blue eggs is the house finch.
This tiny bird often captivates attention when it’s spotted in backyards and parks due to its appealing red coloration on the head, throat, and chest.
The house finch can sometimes be yellow, as the amount of color in the feathers is due to the food consumed when the bird molts. If the food is pigmented, males especially will be quite red!
This finch is also a singer, and its twittering tunes are most appealing if you’re sitting in your yard enjoying a lovely spring day.
I should note that the house finch’s eggs are not exclusively blue. For the ones that are, the pigment is rather muted compared to a robin.
A stately bird that lives up to its name with its uniform gray color, the gray catbird is a species that prefers open woodlands to make its nest. There, it can lay some extraordinarily beautiful eggs!
Gray catbirds are truly gifted singers, perhaps more so than the other bird species I’ve talked about on the list to this point.
Their songs can extend for upwards of 10 minutes if the bird is feeling especially spirited!
Okay, so onto the eggs. Gray catbird eggs are a blue akin to robin’s egg blue, but not quite as bright.
The darker but still pigmented color is usually not speckled or otherwise patterned, making these mini marvels a joy find around the neighborhood!
If you live in California, then you’ve probably spotted your share of yellow-billed magpies. These birds don’t appear elsewhere in North America though, making them rather exclusive.
Throughout the Golden State, the yellow-billed magpie prefers oak woodlands like those found in the Sierra Nevada, Coast Ranges, and Central Valley.
The bird is mostly black with some areas of yellow, blue-green, and white. Its long tail also makes the yellow-billed magpie hard to miss!
Should you find some yellow-billed magpie eggs, they may have some slight blue coloration to them. The eggs can be heavily covered in brown or dark-colored speckles.
Since the 19th century, the European starling has been on North American soil (yes, despite its name).
They’re propagated in the centuries since, becoming populous songbirds that are as known for their eggs as for their stunning plumage.
The European starling almost looks iridescent, as it’s mostly black with colored feathers across the wings. These colors occur through molting.
Starling eggs are slightly smaller than robin eggs and roughly the same color, although the starling eggs are usually paler blue.
Speckles are sparse, allowing you to appreciate the rich depth of color these eggs possess!
From a very populous bird to one that’s on the decline, the rusty blackbird is a North American bird species that’s experienced a huge plunge in population over the last four decades.
What’s worse is that no one seems to know why!
These birds, if you can spot them, prefer wooded swampy areas. They’re nicknamed the rusty blackbird because they’re mostly black birds that feature sporadic patches of brown throughout.
That’s considered their winter plumage. To mate in the spring, the rusty blackbird usually wears a single-colored coat.
Rusty blackbird eggs are as rare as this bird is. If you ever do get to see any, they’re small eggs that are a pale but appealing blue. The dark-colored freckles can become larger splotches in some areas.
A bird watchable with binoculars throughout North America, the eastern bluebird is a blue-colored bird that lays blue eggs (of course!).
The blue-colored plumage is more common in males than females and is used as an attractant. The males will have brown or white chests while the females are mostly brown with blue wings and white chests.
When the two birds mate, small, pale blue eggs result. The eggs might have a more distinct blue coloration, or they could be very pale and pastel, almost whiteish.
Known as a perching bird, the dunnock is common in Asian Russia and Europe.
Nicknamed the hedge warbler, the hedge sparrow, and the hedge accentor, this hedge-friendly bird is tiny and could be mistaken for a sparrow at first glance.
Dunnocks have streaks across their backs but are mostly brown and black with maybe some white.
Although the bird’s coloration doesn’t do it any favors, the reason the dunnock wears such bland colors is to avoid being hunted.
At least the dunnock makes it up for it with its eggs! Dunnock eggs can sometimes veer more towards green than blue while others are blue-green. The very small eggs usually do not have speckles, but that can vary.
Here’s another worldly bird species known for its colorful eggs, the common myna.
Originating in South Asia, the myna has since spread everywhere from Hawaii to New Zealand and Australia.
Preferring dense forests, you might not come across one in your neighborhood. That’s not such a bad thing though considering the myna is aggressive and can even scare other birds away!
Spotting the common myna means looking out for a bird with a yellow bill, brown and black feathers, and some white patches. Those different colored patches are especially evident when the myna is in flight.
Myna eggs are usually a deep, intense teal that’s very much akin to robin’s egg blue. The color can be paler depending on the bird.
Few birds are bigger head-turners than the blue jay.
This colorful songbird is as beloved for its vivid blue striped plumage as it is for its crested feathers. To top it off, the blue jay makes what many regard as appealing sounds.
More so than beautiful, the blue jay is smart. The birds create social bonds.
Interestingly, they also eat other bird eggs, although experts can’t pinpoint why this behavior occurs.
When they lay their own eggs, blue jay eggs are a sight to behold.
The eggs, like the birds themselves, are blue with brown. You can expect the eggs to be quite speckled. As an FYI, sometimes a blue jay’s egg is more greenish than blueish.
The last bird that lays blue eggs that I’ll discuss is the black tinamou.
This bird is considered quite rare, originating in the Andes’ eastern slopes in South America. Its color is a dark gray that leaves it undetected in most settings.
That said, you can usually hear a black tinamou if you’re in the presence of one. The cooing-like sound almost resembles a dove, but the black tinamou’s vocalizations are usually longer and include whistles here and there.
The black tinamou is known for its metallic-looking eggs. They come in all sorts of colors, from black to bright green, grayish, and pale blue.
Even if you don’t spot a blue egg, these unique eggs are certainly conversation starters!