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Can Birds Move Their Eggs? (All You Need to Know)

Birds migrate from one place to another for better resources and temperature. They usually travel during the winter season. Well, you might be wondering if the birds move their eggs when they move from one place to another. Let’s find out if birds can move their eggs.

Can birds move their eggs?

Not every bird is capable enough to move its eggs from one nest to another. The ground birds usually move their eggs to another location by rolling the eggs with their beak when they suspect any danger. The flying birds, however, can not move their eggs even if they feel threatened.

The bird nests are supposed to be a safe place for the bird and their eggs. This, however, is not always the case. Various predators can attack the birds’ nests in search of food. The birds who just laid eggs remain remarkably vigilant and they usually relocate if they can detect any danger.

That being said, none of the birds have the ability to pick up the oval-shaped eggs with their beak. So, most of the birds have to leave their eggs behind if any predators attack their nest.

However, ground birds such as ducks, Cassowaries, Emus, Kiwis, Burrowing owls, and more can roll their eggs from one nest to another.

The small birds, whether flying or ground birds, can’t move their eggs. This is due to the fact that they don’t have the strength to roll the eggs out of the nest and push them to a safer place.

Why does a bird move the egg from its nest?

A bird can move the eggs from its nest for various reasons. It can be due to food issues or due to predators trying to attack the nest. Let’s have a detailed look at why a bird might move the eggs from its nests.

Insect infestation:

If the nest gets infested with ants, bugs, mites, or flies, the parent birds will feel that the survival of the hatchling is minimum in that nest. The bird will also feel uncomfortable and won’t have the energy to incubate the eggs in an insect-infested nest. 

So, the bird will move the eggs from the infested nest to a safer location. 

Predators lurking around:

The parent birds always look out for predator birds and animals after laying eggs. If they observe any predators lurking around the nest, they will immediately move their eggs. In fact, the birds can move their eggs even if they see humans regularly coming near the nest.

Found a nest with better resource:

If there is a scarcity of water and food near the nest, the bird won’t be able to feed the hatchling properly. As a result, to provide proper food to the babies after the eggs hatch, they move the eggs to a nest with better resources.

Can these birds move their eggs?

Although most of the ground-nesting birds can move their eggs, there are a few of them that can not do it. Some of the birds that can’t move their eggs don’t have the ability, while some don’t want to move them.

Have a look at which birds can and can’t move their eggs:

Killdeer birds:

Killdeer birds don’t build their nests in cavities, they usually lay eggs in driveways or gardens. As a result, their eggs are not safe from predators or other dangers. 

However, since the killdeer birds lay eggs on flat surfaces, they can roll their eggs to a safer location if they detect any kind of danger. 

Songbirds:

The Songbirds never lay eggs on high ground, they only do it in the ground. So, they can quite easily relocate their eggs if there is danger or shortage of food in their nest. 

Bluebirds:

The Bluebirds nest in cavities. However, they don’t build the holes for the nests on their own. They usually build the nests on wood holes, trees, and manmade nest boxes. Since the Bluebirds are not ground-nesting birds, they can’t move their eggs.

Cardinal birds:

The Cardinal birds usually build nests and lay eggs in highly protective areas. So they usually don’t need to relocate their eggs. However, in case of any issues, the Cardinal birds can move their eggs to a safer location.

Sparrows:

Sparrows usually lay their eggs on nests built of grass clumps, saplings, or bushes. So, if there is a shortage of food in the nest, they can just roll the eggs to move them to a better nest.

Robins:

Yes, Robins can move their eggs. If they can detect that the egg is infertile or a predator bird is roaming around the nest, they just roll eggs out of the nest and relocate them if necessary.

Ducks:

Mallard ducks can move their eggs if necessary. However, ducks moving their eggs from the nests is extremely rare. They will only move their eggs if they feel like they are at risk of being attacked by predators.

Pigeons:

Pigeons usually lay their eggs on aerial nests. So, they can’t move their eggs even if they want to.

Chickens:

The beaks of the hens aren’t capable of picking up things. So, chickens can only move the eggs by pushing them using their beaks.

Doves, Geese, and Swans:

Doves, Geese, and Swans are quite strong. However, they can’t pick up any heavy items using their beak. That being said, they make their nests on the ground. So, they can move their eggs by rolling them.

Turkeys:

Wild turkeys are huge birds and they always remain cautious about predators hunting down their hatchlings. So, turkeys move their eggs if they get even a little hint of an attack on their nest.

Starlings:

Starlings generally make messy nests on artificial or natural holes in trees or houses. They are small birds, so they don’t have the power to pick up the eggs. Needless to say, they can’t move the eggs from one nest to another even if necessary.

Finches:

Finches have aerial nests. So, they can’t naturally move the eggs from one place to another.

Hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds are extremely small birds. They can’t move a flower, let alone an egg. They will abandon the eggs if there is any predator attacking the nest.

Blue jays:

Blue jays are relatively small birds and they lay eggs on nests that are built on treetops and naturally made holes. So, they can’t carry the eggs to move them from one location to another if necessary.

Juncos:

Juncos can’t grab and move the eggs. If necessary, they will abandon the eggs.

Quail:

Quails never build their nests on high ground, they always do it on the ground. So, they can move the eggs to relocate their eggs to another nest.

Wrens:

Wrens usually build their nests in cavities. They don’t have the body strength to pick up the eggs and shift them.

Plovers:

Plovers lay eggs on grounds in open areas. So, they can easily shift the eggs to another place when necessary.

Chickadees:

Chickadees are not ground-nesting birds. They lay eggs on tree barks or tree holes. So, they can’t lift the eggs with their beak to move them somewhere else.

Mockingbirds:

Mockingbirds lay eggs on nests that are three to ten feet above the ground. In addition to that, they are tiny birds. So, Mockingbirds can’t move their eggs as they can’t carry the eggs while flying.

How do birds move their eggs?

Birds move their eggs by pushing them with their beaks. A bird can’t transfer the eggs from one place to another by lifting them. This is because the beaks of the birds are not formed to carry heavy materials. So, usually, only the birds who nest on the ground can move their eggs.

Why do bird eggs disappear from nests?

Bird eggs can disappear from nests due to various reasons. One of the most common reasons is that the parent bird relocated the eggs due to scarcity of food. Then again, the eggs can also disappear if predators attack the nest and destroy the eggs. 

The mother bird taking the hatchlings along with her after the eggs hatched is also a common cause.

Final Thoughts

The birds that live and lay eggs on the ground can move their eggs. They roll the eggs to shift them to another location. They will only do it if any predator roams around the nest, if the condition of the nest is unbearable, or if there is a shortage of food and water.