Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. (Job 39:13-15 KJV)
The largest bird egg is from the Ostrich Sturthio camelus. The egg measures 15 – 20 cm long, 10 – 15 cm in diameter and weighs 1 – 1.78 kg.
Largest egg ~ Ostrich ~ measuring 17.8 by 14 cm (7 by 4.5 in)
Smallest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Ostrich egg ~ at 1.5%
An ostrich egg needs to be boiled for 2 hours to get a hard-boiled egg.
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? (Job 6:6 KJV)
Largest Egg – living ~ Ostrich
Largest Egg – ever ~ Elephant Bird Aepyornis maximus From Madagascar 39cm/15.4in long = 12 litres/2.6 gallons, 220 chicken eggs, egg weighed 27 pounds.
Largest egg laid by a passerine ~ 5 7 g (2 oz) by Australian Lyrebirds
Largest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Little Spotted Kiwi at 26%
Smallest known egg ~ the Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima of Jamacia and nearby islets. The egg is barely the size of a pea and measures less than 10 mm in length and weighs 0.356 g.
You could put 4700 bee hummingbird eggs inside one ostrich egg. The Bee Hummingbird egg is the size of a small pea and weighs .02 ounces. World’s Smallest Bird
Smallest egg ~ West Indian Vervain Hummingbird ~ at 10 mm (0.39 in) in length and 0.375 g (0.0132 oz)
Smallest Egg – living ~ Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima ~ the size of pea
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:12-13 KJV)
The majority of avian eggs match the shape of chicken eggs, but there are some exceptions.
- Budgies, for instance, tend to lay very round eggs.
- Fast-flying, stream-lined birds like swifts and swallows lay long, elliptical eggs.
- Owls tend to lay very spherical eggs.
- Roundest eggs ~ Owls, Tinamous
The Royal Albatross’ eggs take 79 days to hatch.
Precocial birds like chickens, ostriches, ducks, and seagulls hatch ready to move around. They come from eggs with bigger yolks than altricial birds like owls, woodpeckers, and most small songbirds that need a lot of care from parents in order to survive.
Longest interval between eggs laid ~ Maleo ~ at 1012 day intervals
Largest clutch laid by a nidicolous species ~ 19 eggs laid by a European Blue Tit
Largest clutch laid by a nidifugous species ~ 28 by a Bobwhite Quail
Largest average clutch size ~ 15-19 by a Gray Partridge
Smallest clutch size ~ 1 egg laid every 2 years by Albatrosses
Greatest number of eggs laid consecutively ~ 146 by a Mallard
Most valuable bird ~ 8 billion domestic chickens ~ produce 562 billion eggs annually
Highest price paid for an egg ~ 1,000 British pounds for an egg of extinct Aepyornis maximus
And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (Isaiah 10:14 KJV)
Bird eggshells are diverse. For example:
- Cormorant eggs are rough and chalky
- Tinamou eggs are shiny
- Duck eggs are oily and waterproof
- Cassowary eggs are heavily pitted
Tiny pores in bird eggshells allow the embryo to breathe. The domestic hen’s egg has around 7500 pores.
The most yolks ever found in a single chicken’s egg is nine.
Largest individual nest ~ Mallee Fowl Australia Leipoa ocellata ~ builds a mound 5 m (16.5ft) high and 11 metres (36ft) wide. A mound this size means the bird moved 250 cubic metres of vegetation and 300 tons of soil.
Smallest nest ~
- many seabirds do not make a nest at all, nest on ground or
- in case of Fairy Tern on a branch of a tree
- The prize goes to the Hummingbirds for their thimble sized (1cm squared) nests.
The largest nest was built by a pair of Bald Eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus was 2.9 m wide and 6 m deep.
The Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata which measures 35 cm and nests on islands in the North Pacific excavates a burrow of 2 – 3 m in length. Burrows up to 6 m are not uncommon and 8 m burrows have also been found.
The only species of parrot that builds a nest is the Quaker Parrot. The Quakers link their nests together to form structures akin to “bird condominiums”. These nests can reach weights greater than 200 lbs.
Largest recorded nesting bird colony: 136 million Passenger Pigeon nesting in an area in Wisconsin covering 1,942 sq km (750 sq mi)
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord created each bird’s egg to help it survive and for it to do His command to:
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV)
(Various internet resources used and Wikipedia)