About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, June 22, 2018

What happens to egg shells after birds hatch

The shells of eggs generally disappear from the nests of American Crows within a few hours of a baby hatching. I saw this beauty on the way to Wild Birds Unlimited.

Many birds remove eggshells from their nests soon after their nestlings have hatched. There is only speculation on why. Perhaps the sharp shell edges could injure newly hatched chicks, or interfere with mama's brooding. Hatched shells could also just be in the way, create an issue with nest hygiene, or interfere with nest camouflage.

Also an important factor affecting the evolution of eggshell removal in birds could be a phenomenon referred to as “egg-capping” where an unhatched egg gets trapped inside a hatched eggshell.

During the last two days the chick inside the egg begins to breathe with its lungs for the first time. To do this it needs an air supply inside the egg shell. At the round end of the egg there is an air space. If you examine an egg carefully with a magnifying glass, you'll see that there are tiny little holes, called pores that let the bird breathe. Egg-capping could lower hatchability by suffocating the baby or by interfering with baby being able to pecking out if an extra eggshell makes a second barrier.

Related Articles:
Types of Bird feathers http://bit.ly/GOwsuu
How Do Birds Lay Eggs? http://bit.ly/H8omO0
Do birds have belly buttons? http://bit.ly/GVqhpT
Is there a bird without feathers? http://bit.ly/Aora0F
What happens inside a bird egg https://goo.gl/544o1h

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