Blue speckled eggs are those that have a blue or pale blue color with various irregular spots or markings on their shells. Bird eggshells are blue because of the pigment called biliverdin which produces shades of blue and green and gives them their unique colors. Their reddish-brown spots come from a pigment called protoporphyrin.
Such colors and patterns are thought to be a form of camouflage, helping the eggs blend better with the environment and increasing the chance of hatching.
Whether you’re an avid bird watcher, farmer, or just someone that came across these eggs in their backyard, this article will provide you with the photos and information you need to identify them.
Table of Contents
Blue Speckled Bird Eggs
1. House Finch
These medium-sized finches are year-round residents found throughout the USA. House finches breed in urban and suburban areas as well as different semi-open areas of the west.
They nest in cavities, around buildings, hanging planters, and other cup-shaped objects like street lamps, or use nests abandoned by other birds. Females are the ones that build their cup-shaped nests using stems, leaves, twigs, wool, and feathers. When complete, the nest is 3-7 inches in diameter and around 2 inches deep.
House finches lay pale blue eggs that are speckled with fine black and pale purple dots mostly at their larger ends. Eggs are typically oval with smooth shells and with slight gloss and measure around 0.7 inches long and 0.5 inches wide.
Females incubate them for 13 to 14 days. After hatching, both parents will feed the young who leave the nest after 12 to 15 days. House finches will lay eggs 1 to 6 times per year, from February to August.
Brown-headed cowbirds will lay their eggs in house finch nests but their young rarely survive due to inadequate diet. House finches feed their young with seeds and fruits – such a diet doesn’t provide enough protein cowbirds need to grow and develop.
2. Red-winged Blackbird
One of the most common birds in North America, red-winged blackbirds breed from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Some experts claim that they have the largest population in North America with over 250 million birds in peak years. This means that you will have a great chance of finding their blue speckled eggs and nests.
Red-winged blackbirds nest in marsh vegetation such as cattails or bulrushes, in bushes or saplings close to water, or in dense grass in fields. Females will build their open-cup nests using grass, leaves, and some mud. When complete, the nests are 4-7 inches in diameter and 3-7 inches deep.
Red-winged blackbirds lay 2-4 eggs that are pale blue-green to gray with black or brown speckles. Most markings are located on the larger end of the egg. The eggs are oval, smooth, slightly glossy, and measure around 1 inch long and 0.7 inches wide.
Females incubate the eggs for 10 to 12 days with both parents feeding their young. The young are born naked, blind, and with bad coordination, and leave the nests 11 to 14 days after hatching.
Most of their egg-laying happens between April and August, giving you enough time to spot them. Red-winged blackbirds will have 1-2 broods per year.
Unfortunately, many species will feed on their eggs; some snakes, weasels, minks, raccoons, and other birds, some as tiny as marsh wrens. Brown-headed cowbirds will also parasitize their nests.
3. Cedar Waxwing
One of the most striking and handsome birds in the Northeast, cedar waxwings got their common name from the waxy red tips on their secondary wing feathers.
Cedar waxwings are monogamous and both partners will build a nest of grass, twigs, bark, and hair; the parents also take care of the young. Although both look for nest sites together, females are the ones that make the final decision.
It will take them 5-6 days and over 2,500 trips to the nest to complete it; they might also steal some material from other birds’ nests, robbing eastern kingbirds, orioles, vireos, and yellow warblers in the process.
Cedar waxwings will have a clutch size of 2-6 bluish-gray eggs finely spotted with brown and black. These light blue speckled bird eggs have a very smooth surface, oval shape, and almost no gloss – they measure around 0.8 inches long and 0.6 inches wide.
Females will incubate the eggs for 11 to 13 days and will have one or two broods per year. 14 to 18 days after hatching, the young will leave the nest.
4. Blue Jay
Blue jays are small songbirds native to eastern and central parts of North America. They breed in deciduous and coniferous forests and both partners will build open-cup nests in the trees.
Their mating season lasts from mid-March to July and if you are lucky enough to have some nesting in your yard, you will recognize their beautiful spotted eggs with ease.
Blue jays lay 2-7 bluish or light brown eggs with brown spots once a year. They are monogamous and their eggs measure around 1.2 inches long and 0.8 inches wide.
Females incubate the eggs for 16-18 days while the males feed them during that period. Their young are born altrical (underdeveloped) and fledge 17-21 days after hatching. Some individuals will stay together with their families for a couple of months.
Similar to other birds on our list, blue jays’ eggs are not safe from predators. Squirrels, cats, snakes, crows, raccoons, opossums, and even other jays will prey on their eggs and young.
5. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
These tiny songbirds with “angry-looking” faces breed in open deciduous forests and shrublands of southern Ontario, the eastern and southwestern parts of the USA, and Mexico.
After pairing, both partners will choose a place to build a nest and get to work. Using grass, weeds, bark, hair, and feathers, they build their cone-shaped nests on horizontal tree branches, a couple of feet above the ground.
To prevent predation, mite infestations, and cowbird parasitism, blue-gray gnatcatchers will often make several nests during summer (males will make them while females complete the main nests). They will coat the outside of the nest with spiderwebs and pieces of lichen to camouflage it better.
Their 3-5 eggs are pale blue, spotted with reddish to dark brown, and measure 0.5 inches long and 0.4 inches wide. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 11 to 15 days; females will spend more time raising the young while males bring them food and feed them all.
The chicks are born naked, blind, and helpless, and leave the nests 10-15 days after hatching. These birds might raise two broods per season.
6. Pine Grosbeak
One of the largest species of finches, pine grosbeaks breed in the boreal forests and high mountains of North America, Europe, and Asia.
They build their nests in evergreen trees near tree trunks 6-16 feet off the ground, where dense vegetation can hide them. Females will use twigs, roots, grasses, lichen, evergreen needles, and feathers to construct their cup-shaped nests that are around 6-9 inches in diameter and 3-4 inches deep.
Pine grosbeaks lay 3-4 pale blue eggs with darker dots and markings that are 1 inch long and 0.7 inches wide. Females incubate the eggs for 13-14 days while males feed them during that period.
Both parents will take care of the chicks; adults have throat pouches that help them carry more food. The young hatch naked with a few feathers on them and after 13 to 20 days leave the nest.
7. Northern Mockingbird
Famous for their intelligence and mimicking abilities, these stunning birds with white stripes on their wings are found throughout North America. They breed in southeastern Canada, the USA, northern parts of Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Greater Antilles.
Northern mockingbirds are common in areas with open ground and shrubby vegetation, including parks, cultivated land, and suburban areas. They will use twigs, grasses, leaves, aluminum foil, and cigarette filters to construct their nests – males will start building the foundation on several nests while females chose the main one and complete the nest lining.
Northern mockingbirds lay 2-6 pale blue or greenish eggs with splotches of red or brown concentrated at the larger end. These eggs laid 3-10 feet off the ground (sometimes up to 60 feet) are around 0.9 inches long and 0.7 inches wide; females incubate them for 12 to 13 days.
After hatching, chicks are naked and blind, and both parents will take turns in feeding them. The young leave the nest 12 days after hatching but it will take them a week more to learn how to fly properly. Northern mockingbirds will raise 2-3 broods per year.
Cowbirds will often parasitize their nests with some studies discovering that more mockingbirds will reject intruder eggs later in the breeding season. Blue jays, fish crows, red-tailed hawks, snakes, squirrels, and cats will also predate on northern mockingbird eggs.
8. Common Raven
These large all-black birds are one of the most widespread songbirds in North America. Common ravens are highly intelligent, very adaptable, and can survive in different areas, ranging from deserts to high Arctic tundra.
After doing various aerial acrobatics, demonstrating their intelligence, and ability to provide food, the pair will form and begin building their nest. Common ravens stay together for life but scientists recorded several instances of males visiting a female’s nest when her mate is away.
Common ravens construct deep bowl-shaped nests using sticks, twigs, roots, mud, bark, and fur, placing them on rock cliffs, ledges, trees, power-line towers, telephone poles, billboards, and bridges. After 9 days of hard work, their often uneven nests measure 5 feet in diameter and 2 feet high.
Female common ravens lay 3-7 dull greenish-blue eggs with brown spots once per year. They will incubate eggs that are 1.8 inches long and 1.3 inches wide for 20-25 days. During that period males will feed them.
Young fledge after 35-42 days from hatching and stay with their parents for another 6 months. You will most often find common raven eggs from late February.
Although adults are very long-lived, reaching over 20 years in some individuals, not all of their eggs will get the chance to hatch. Hawks, eagles, owls, martens, and other animals love feeding on them.
9. Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet tanagers are medium-sized songbirds found in thick deciduous woodlands and suburbs of North America. Although they mostly breed in oak-rich deciduous forests in the eastern parts of the continent, scarlet tanagers might also be seen in woodlands, suburban areas, parks, and even cemeteries.
Males are the first to arrive at the breeding grounds, from May to June; females come almost a week later. After the courtship, females are the ones that build nests several feet above the ground in trees. Using twigs, weeds, grass, and roots, they will complete their shallow open-cup nests and lay eggs there.
Scarlet tanagers’ eggs are pale blue-green with reddish-brown spots often concentrated at the larger end. Females incubate eggs that measure around 0.9 inches long and 0.7 inches wide for 12-14 days. Both parents will feed the chicks and they leave the nests 9-15 days after hatching. Females will continue to take care of them for another 2 weeks.
Scarlet tanagers are another helpless victim of brood parasitism of brown-headed cowbirds. In case you spot a cowbird egg in another bird’s nest, do NOT remove it. Brown-headed cowbirds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as they are native species, and taking eggs is illegal if you do not own a permit.
Read More: List of birds that lay red eggs
10. Song Sparrow
Song sparrows are one of the most widespread and familiar North American sparrows. They are found around thickets, brush, marshes, roadsides, and gardens across the USA and Canada.
Although it varies, most song sparrows will often nest on the ground under grass and shrub, or almost a foot above the ground, near water. Both partners will search for nest sites but the females are the ones that construct them.
Using grasses, weeds, tree bark, and animal hair, they complete their simple and sturdy cup-shaped nest after 4 days. Identify the nest by the shape and size which is 4-8 inches in diameter and 2.5-4 inches deep.
Song sparrows lay 1-7 blue, blue-green, or gray-green eggs with red-brown, brown, or lilac spots. The eggs are 0.8 inches long and 0.7 inches wide and females incubate the eggs for 12-15 days. The chicks hatch underdeveloped, naked, and with their eyes closed.
Both parents will feed them and after 9-12 days, they will leave their nests and stay with their parents for 3 more weeks. Song sparrows will have 1-7 broods per season. Although slightly larger, brown-headed cowbirds have similar eggs to song sparrows and will parasitize their nests.
Read More: What are some brown speckled bird eggs?
Blue eggs with speckles are a unique and beautiful sight to behold. They can be found in different bird species, including blackbirds, sparrows, ravens, tanagers, and many others.
Whether you’re a bird watcher, farmer, or just curious about these stunning eggs, we hope you found this article helpful. If it did, feel free to check out our article on white bird eggs that have brown speckles.