Bird’s Eggs

Egg-Collecting & Egg Health

Egg collecting

Before the implications were fully realised, birds' eggs were taken from the wild by collectors, naturalists, museums, hobby bird watchers and children. It is now obvious, with so many species being threatened by man's encroachment on their environment, in a multitude of different ways, that many species of bird are fighting to avoid extinction. It is ironic that the eggs were taken, because of the fascination with wild birds, yet that very activity threatened the existence of the object of interest and fascination. Not only does the taking of eggs reduce the reproductive potential of a species, it also removes genetic material from the population of that species

The taking of wild birds' eggs is rightly illegal in the UK. It should be illegal worldwide. In the UK, all birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law (Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981), except game, which are covered by the Game Acts. Schedule 1 birds are given special protection when nesting, even concerning photography:

SCHEDULE 1

Birds that are protected by special penalties and that may not be photographed at or near a nest without a licence:

Avocet

Bee-eater

Bittern

Bittern, Little

Bluethroat

Brambling

Bunting, Cirl

Bunting, Lapland

Bunting, Snow

Buzzard, Honey

Chough

Corncrake

Crake, Spotted

Crossbills (all species)

Divers (all species)

Dotterel

Duck, Long-tailed

Eagle, Golden

Eagle, White-tailed

Falcon, Gyr

Fieldfare

Firecrest

Garganey

Godwit, Black-tailed

Goldeneye

Goose, Greylag (Outer Hebrides, Caithness,

Sutherland & Wester Ross only)

Goshawk

Grebe, Black-necked

Grebe, Slavonian

Greenshank

Gull, Little

Gull, Mediterranean

Harriers (all species)

Heron, Purple

Hobby

Hoopoe

Kingfisher

Kite, Red

Merlin

Oriole, Golden

Osprey

Owl, Barn

Owl, Snowy

Peregrine

Petrel, Leach’s

Phalarope, Red-necked

Pintail

Plover, Kentish

Plover, Little ringed

Quail, Common

Redstart, Black

Redwing

Rosefinch, Scarlet

Ruff

Sandpiper, Green

Sandpiper, Purple

Sandpiper, Wood

Scaup

Scoter, Common

Scoter, Velvet

Serin

Shorelark

Shrike, Red-backed

Spoonbill

Stilt, Black-winged

Stint, Temminck’s

Stone-curlew

Swan, Bewick’s

Swan, Whooper

Tern, Black

Tern, Little

Tern, Roseate

Tit, Bearded

Tit, Crested

Treecreeper, Short-toed

Warbler, Cetti’s

Warbler, Dartford

Warbler, Marsh

Warbler, Savi’s

Whimbrel

Woodlark

Wryneck

Egg health

On the topic of health, the shape of an egg and the strength and texture of its shell can be an indicator of disease or nutritional problems. Homeopathy and good nutrition have an excellent track record in the treatment of such disorders, whether in bird collections or domestic fowl.