How Many Eggs Does A Bird Lay? It’s Not What You Think

How Many Eggs Does A Bird Lay

As the grass gets greener, the flowers return to their refreshing bloom, and the spring slowly but surely starts to settle in as the weather gets warmer, the birds know it’s time.

Eggs have an incubation period of about two weeks where they require the best conditions, namely warmth.

When talking about the egg-laying numbers and patterns, one term to be aware of is ‘clutch’. 

A clutch of eggs is the number of eggs laid in the nest at a time in one nesting attempt.

This figure changes from species to species, but also within the species themselves, there are many factors that work together to determine it. 

Generally, though, birds lay at least an egg per day during this spring period.

But how long and how many eggs at a time? That varies according to various factors.

Apart from the weather and temperature conditions themselves, sometimes birds are late to find a mate during the breeding season and this can reduce the size of the clutch. 

Another component that plays into this is the availability of food, and how much and how long it is for. 

Producing, laying, and incubating eggs is a difficult task, and also the age and health of the female bird also matter greatly.

How Many Eggs Does A Bird Lay?

We cannot go through all 18,000 species of birds and their egg-laying numbers, so we cherry-picked a few of them out today so you have a general idea of the average amount!

No.Name of BirdsNumber of Eggs (Clutch Size)
1Mourning Dove
2Northern Cardinal2 – 5
3American Robin3 – 5
4American Crow 3 – 6
5Blue Jay3 – 7
6Song Sparrow1 – 6
7Red-Winged Blackbird2 – 4
8European Starling3 – 6
9American Goldfinch2 – 7
10Canada Goose2 – 9
11House Finch 2 – 6
12Downy Woodpecker3 – 8
13Mallard8 – 13
14Red-bellied Woodpecker2 – 6
15House Sparrow4 – 5
16Turkey Vulture2
17Black-capped Chickadee1 – 13
18Tufted Titmouse3 – 9
19Dark-eyed Junco3 – 6
20White-breasted Nuthatch5 – 9
21Northern Flicker5 – 8
22Great Blue Heron2 – 6
23Northern Mockingbird2 – 6
24Carolina Wren4 – 6
25Red-tailed Hawk1 – 5
26Common Grackle1 – 7

How Many Eggs Can A Bird Lay A Day?

Though the clutch size, that is the number of eggs laid by the bird in a single nesting period varies from species to species, as well as within species. 

But generally, birds usually lay one egg a day at most. Not only because having one more egg would weigh the bird down and affect its flight, but also because of evolutionary modifications that occurred in its reproductive system. 

So, birds may have a nesting period that lasts a couple of days, and by the end, having laid one egg a day will come to their average clutch size, determined by all the factors discussed above!

Can Birds Lay Eggs Twice In A Season?

Amongst the other factors that matter when talking about a bird’s breeding period, a crucial one is temperature. 

As the weather gets warmer during the spring season, this denotes the beginning of the breeding for many birds. 

They exhibit heightened social behavior – attracting mates and pairing up with them, building nests for the nesting period coming, and so on. 

Once the mates are attracted, they breed and lay eggs, and this process can repeat!

It is not necessary that there be only one breeding period a season, the number has been observed to go up to three repeated cycles!

How Many Eggs Do Birds Lay In A Year?

During the breeding season, birds usually lay about an egg a day for a week or so, depending, of course, on what species you look at. 

So depending on the number of nesting periods a bird has, the number of eggs a year changes as well.

Generally, most birds nest only once a year, so the number of eggs in that one nesting period is what their total comes to at the end of the year. 

But there are exceptions, like the American Robin that nests more than once, even up to 5.

In these cases their total comes up to their average clutch size, 4 multiplied by 5, which gives us about 20 eggs a year!

Which Bird Lays The Most Eggs?

Seeing the measly numbers like 4 and 5 in the table will not prepare for you the answer to this question! 

The bird that lays the most eggs are ostriches, who lay about 50 eggs per nest, though it is a communal nest with each female bird contributing to about 7 – 10 eggs each.

Coupling this mind-blowing number with the size of their eggs, which is about 15 cm, their nest is truly a sight to see!

Do Male Birds Lay Eggs?

The short answer is no they do not! There are no species where the male birds lay eggs though they do still have a huge role to play in terms of ensuring the safe hatching of the eggs. 

The roles assigned to male and female birds are a result of years of evolution which define the female bird to bear the eggs and lay it, while the male protects the nest, brings feed for the mother bird, and eventually shares in responsibilities of raising the young ones.

Just as human males do not give birth to babies, male bird species do not lay eggs either, but that does not make them any less important to the family-creating experience!

In Conclusion,

So that was some facts and numbers about birds and their eggs! We hope you found answers to your questions as well as learned something new here today. 

Try and find out the number of eggs that the species in your neighborhood lay from our table above or just whip out some binoculars, and explore for yourself!

Thank you for reading!

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