Bill Henderson's picture

Mystery Egg

Observed: 15th April 2012 By: Bill HendersonBill Henderson’s reputation in BirdsBill Henderson’s reputation in BirdsBill Henderson’s reputation in BirdsBill Henderson’s reputation in Birds

Found on path next to my doorstep. I am guessing that the cat has brought me a present. Only been interested in birds for the last year and am so utterly clueless when it comes to eggs.
What is it and why is it at my doorstep?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


KelsaeJohn's picture


This is most likely a wood pigeon egg. The size and colour are right; They build notoriously flimsy, small flat platforms as a nest and eggs commonly fall from the nest, (or are dislodged by one of the birds) and, finally, they have a tendency to lay eggs at any old time of the year. As for it being found on your doorstep, the cat seems the most likely explanation.

David Jardine's picture


Pigeon eggs tend to have two rounded ends - this egg has one which is more pointed. Pigeon eggs tend to be whiter, than this pale ochre coloured egg. At 4cm in length it may be on the long side for a pigeon, so I am more inclined to think it is a gamebird.

I'm away at present and don't have access to reference books to check dimensions etc, but I suspect this is a Pheasant egg.

All the best

Ray Turner's picture


A Field Guide to Monitoring Nests has Pheasant at 46mm. I’ve looked at this image to scale and measured down the length of the egg, the axis is not quite horizontal, and came up with 44mm. This is probably within the error band for this ad hoc measuring technique, the diameter using the same method is 36mm which by the same source is spot on. So I’d say David is probably right.



Bill Henderson's picture

Mystery Solved

Thanks for the input. I had thought that it could be a pigeon because both wood pigeon and collared doves are regular visitors and it would take a sizable bird to produce such an egg.

I never even considered game birds. However,I have a regular hen pheasant visitor and she is now the most likely suspect.

Thanks for the explanations as to how you came to your conclusions. As a beginner, I found them very helpful.

Bill (ex misspelled insect: Cadisfly)

Bill Henderson