Birds that Lay Blue Eggs in North America

Inside: A complete guide to birds that lay blue eggs. These are common birds in North America that lay eggs that are some shade or hue of blue. Discover the species that lay these blue eggs, photos of each bird, and information about each one for fast and accurate identification.

So you found a nest with blue eggs, or perhaps a blue egg on the ground, and would like to identify the parents. You’ve come to the right place because I’ve included all of the common birds that lay blue eggs. Pale blue, bright blue, turquoise-blue, blue-green eggs – they’re all here along with descriptions of the birds.

Over my 20 years of backyard birding, I’ve encountered numerous bird nests with blue eggs. Usually, they’re an Eastern Bluebird or American Robin because they’re most prevalent where I live – in Wisconsin. So, I can easily identify these birds’ eggs and nests.

Still, there are at least 14 more species of common birds that lay blue eggs throughout North America. I’ve researched each one using a Cornell University Lab’s ornithological website (either AllAboutBirds.org or eBird.org) or The Audubon Society’s website to bring you accurate information.

Get read to identify that blue bird egg you’re interested in!

how many birds lay blue eggs

There are well over 20 different bird species in North America that lay blue eggs. As far as common birds go – the ones you could expect to see in and around your yard – there are only about 16 different species of birds including:

  1. American Crow
  2. American Goldfinch
  3. American Robin
  4. Blue Grosbeak
  5. Blue Jay
  6. Cassin’s Finch
  7. Eastern Bluebird
  8. European Starling
  9. Gray Catbird
  10. House Finch
  11. Lesser Goldfinch
  12. Mountain Bluebird
  13. Northern Mockingbird
  14. Red-Winged Blackbird
  15. Varied Thrush
  16. Western Bluebird

In the next section, I provide more detail about the bird that lays the blue eggs so you can quickly identify the species of bird by the egg color & size, the number of eggs you could expect to see in the clutch, the nest appearance, the habitat in which the egg or nest was found, and the adult bird’s appearance.

Common Birds that Lay Blue Eggs

American Crow

American crow sitting on a fence
American crow. Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash
AppearanceLarge all-black bird about 16-20″ long, wide neck with a long straight bill. Male and females have the same appearance.
DietOpportunistic scavengers eat just about anything they can find on the ground – especially garbage. Natural living fare includes insects, spiders, frogs, snakes, and other birds’ eggs & young.
Feeder FoodNot likely to visit a feeder.
HabitatCommon birds found in every contiguous US state and most of Canada. Types of habitat include fields, open wooded and forested areas, river edges, shores, towns, cities, parks, and more. The only place you won’t find them is in the hot desert.
NestingNest: Builds nests in a large shrub or tree as high as 20′
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-9 eggs per brood
Egg color: Ranging from brighter blue-green to a dull green or blue-gray with heavy gray and brown blotching
Egg size: 1.4 – 1.9 inches by 1 inch
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for about 18 days.

Nest & Eggs

YouTube video

Range Map

american crow range map
American crow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Goldfinch

American goldfinch perched on a pole
American goldfinch. Photo by Stephen Walker on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 4.5″ long, bright yellow body, black wings with white stripes, black forehead, short orange beak. During winter has a dingy brown body, duller yellow head, and thicker white stripes on its wings. Breeding females are similar to males except their bodies are lemon yellow and wings have more white tips
DietSeeds from flowers, weeds, grasses, and small trees. Some insects.
Feeder FoodThistle seed (Nyjer)
HabitatCommon bird throughout contiguous US and southern part of Canada. Weedy fields, roadsides, orchards, and backyards.
NestingNest: Builds nest in deciduous shrub or tree, sometimes conifers, placed on branch’s fork as high as 20′
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 2-7 eggs per brood
Egg color: Very pale blue to white, occasionally faint brown spots on the larger end.
Egg size: 0.5 inches by 0.5 inches
Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for about 12-14 days while the male brings food to the female.

Nest & Eggs

american goldfinch nest with blue eggs and one hatchling
American goldfinch nest and eggs + one hatchling. Photo by S.E. Filomeo.

Range Map

American goldfinch map range
American goldfinch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Robin

American robin perched on a branch
American robin. Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-size bird about 10″ long, gray/brown upper, brown/orange underparts, yellow beak, white chin, white surrounding eyes. orange beak. The Female has a lighter head and underparts.
DietEarthworms, insects, and fruit.
Feeder FoodNot a feeder visitor.
HabitatCommon and pervasive throughout US and Canada. Found in fields, parks, wooded and forested areas, mountains, and backyards.
NestingNest: Nesting sites vary from the lower half of a tree to rain gutters, outdoor lights, and more.
Broods: 1-3 broods/season,
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood,
Egg color: Bright sky blue or blue-green, without spots
Egg size: 1.1″ long x 8″ wide
Incubation: 12-14 days.

Nest & Eggs

Robin's nest and 4 blue eggs
American robin’s nest & eggs. Image by SidLitke from Pixabay

Range Map

american robin bird on a branch
American Robin range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak. Photo by Donna Cooper.
Appearance8″ long, large, bright blue, large silver bill, and chestnut wingbars, Female’s primary color is light cinnamon with darker colored wings.
DietInsects, seeds, and grains.
Feeder FoodGrain and birdseed.
HabitatThick shrubbery and areas with tall trees.
NestingNest: Small cup-shaped nest of twigs and miscellaneous organic materials resting in low-lying trees, shrubs, and bushes.
Brood: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue to white with occasional brown spots
Egg size: 0.8 inches by 0.7 inches
Incubation: 12-13 days incubation.

Unfortunately, I was unable to provide a photo of the Blue Grosbeak’s nest or eggs.

Range Map

blue grosbeak range map
Blue grosbeak range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Blue Jay

Blue jay on snowy branch
Blue jay. Photo by Cathy Cardone.
AppearanceLarge bird 12″ long, medium blue & white body, blue crest (which he flattens at will), gray belly, and white face. White & blue wings with black spots. Females look the same.
DietInsects, fruit, seeds, nuts, other birds’ eggs, and nestlings.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.
HabitatForested areas with mixed tree types. Also common in suburbs and urban areas.
NestingNest: bulky large nest made from twigs, bark, and mud resting on a tree branch about 5-50′ up.
Broods: 1-2 broods/season,
Clutch: 2-7 eggs/brood,
Egg color: Pale blue to a light brown base color, and these eggs usually have brown or gray spots.
Egg size: 1 inch by just under 1 inch
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 17-18 days and the young fledge between 17-21 days.

Nest & Eggs

Blue jay nest and eggs
Blue Jay nest. Photo by Blake Christian Stalnaker.

Range Map

Blue jay range map
Blue jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Wouldn’t you love to have blue jays in your yard? Check out: 7 Proven Ways to Attract Blue Jays to Your Yard.


Cassin’s Finch

Cassin’s finch. Image by Steve Crowhurst from Pixabay
AppearanceThe Cassin’s finch is a small bird about 6 1/4″ long. They’re brown with a red cap, brown stripe across their cheeks, and white underneath with light pink streaks on the chest.
The female is similar except she doesn’t have red or pink. her chest and belly are heavily streaked brown and she has a white streak above and over her eyes.
DietSeeds, buds, and berries. Occasionally insects.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds.
HabitatOpen forested areas rich with conifers.
NestingNest: They build a nest high up in a conifer – about 30+ feet up.
Broods: 4-5 eggs/brood
Clutch: 3-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Light bluish with black, brown, and purplish speckles
Egg size: 0.7 – 0.8 inches by 0.5 – 0.6 inches
Incubation: 12-14 days.

Unfortunately, I was unable to provide a photo of Cassin’s Finch nest or eggs.

Range Map

Cassin's finch finch range map.
Cassin’s finch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Bluebird

Male eastern bluebird
Male eastern bluebird. Photo by Mike Carmo.
Appearance7″ long, royal blue, orange throat & breast, white belly & undertail. Female is similar but more muted colors
DietInsects & spiders in spring/summer. Small fruit in Fall/Winter. 
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, jelly. 
HabitatWide-open spaces, fields, meadow.
NestingNest: Cavity nesters. The male bluebird determines the nest site (an old woodpecker hole in a tree or manmade nestbox), but the female is the one who builds the nest. She keeps the nest for multiple broods.
Brood: 2-7 broods/season
Clutch: 4-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue eggs (sometimes white) with no blemishes or discoloration. 
Egg size: 0.9 inches by 0.8 inches
Incubation: 11-19 days

Nest & Eggs

eastern bluebird pale blue eggs and 2 cowbird eggs
Three eastern bluebird eggs (pale blue) + and two uninvited cowbird eggs (white with red/brown speckles). Photo by Tammy Poppie.

Range Map

US map showing the migration range of the eastern bluebird
Map depicting where Eastern bluebirds can be found throughout the year. Compliments of Cornell University.

European Starling

European starling singing on a branch
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 7 1/2″ long with iridescent shades of purple and black with white speckles throughout. They have a long pointed gray bill in fall and yellow in spring. The tail is short. The Female looks the same.
DietInsects, seeds, fruit.
Feeder FoodEverything and anything you could offer at the feeder.
HabitatUrban and residential areas throughout the US and Canada including backyard lawns, parks, and fields.
NestingNest: They are cavity nesters
Brood: 2 broods/year.
Clutch: 4-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Glossy bluish or a pale green
Egg size: 1.1 – 1.3 inches by 0.8 – 0.9 inches
Incubation: 12-14 days.

Nest & Eggs

YouTube video

European starling range map
European starling range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Gray Catbird

Gray catbird.
Gray catbird. Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 9″ long. Slate gray with a black crown and dark eyes. Bill is long, thin, and black. Usually concealed, a chestnut patch is under the tail. The female is the same.
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen woodlands.
NestingNest: The nest is cup-sized.
Broods: 2 broods/year,
Clutch: 4-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Bright, turquoise-green sometimes with fine, red spots or no markings.
Egg size: 1 inch by 0.5 inches
Incubation:12-13 days

Nest & Eggs

YouTube video

Range Map

Gray catbird range map.
Gray catbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

House Finch

Male house finch
Male house finch. Photo by Kathleen Balsamo.
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long, orange/red face chest and rump. Brown wings streaked with white. White belly with brown streaks. The Female and juvenile are brown with streaks of white.
DietSeeds, fruit, tree buds.
Feeder FoodBlack oil sunflower seed is their favorite.
HabitatHouse finches are found in the western and eastern parts of the US. They prefer to live around human dwellings (buildings, backyard trees, and shrubs, barns. Also are found in parks and other urban areas.
NestingNest: Small cup about 3-7″ wide, constructed from stems, leaves and plant roots, and feathers. The nests are built in coniferous or deciduous trees or even any place that holds a nest (ledges, vents, hanging plants).
Broods: 1-6 broods/season
Clutch: 2-6 eggs/brood (typical is 4-5)
Egg color: Eggs are pale blue and speckled with black and purple dots.
Egg size: 0.6 – 0.8 inches by 0.5 inches
Incubation: 13-14 days and the young fledge between 12-19 days.
House finch nest and its blue eggs.
House finch nest and its blue eggs. Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

Range Map

House finch range map.
House finch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch perched on a branch
Lesser goldfinch. Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay
AppearanceSmall bird about 4.5″ long withn olive-green body, yellow belly, and black wings with white patches. There are two sub-species of the lesser goldfinch.
• The black-backed is found from Colorado to Texas and has black underparts and a yellow belly.
• The green-backed is found in the southwest and west coast and has a black cap but olive-green back and a yellow belly.
• The green-backed is found in the southwest and west coast and has a black cap but olive-green back and a yellow belly.
The female is the same except a duller olive green.
DietSeeds, tree buds, berries, and occasionally insects.
Feeder FoodNyjer seed
HabitatEnjoy a variety of habitats at different elevations and can be found in backyards with plenty of seed-bearing vegetation.
NestingNest: Lesser goldfinches build a compact cup-shaped nest and place about 50-30′ high in a tree or shrub – typically in forked branches.
Broods: 1 brood/season
Clutch: 3-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue-white without markings
Egg size: 0.6 inches by 0.4 – 0.5 inches
Incubation: 12 days.

Nest & Eggs

YouTube video

Range Map

Lesser goldfinch range map.
Lesser goldfinch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird. Photo by Arnold Joe.
AppearanceSmall bird about 7″ long. Sky-blue color, darker blue wings and tail, lighter shades of below underneath, white undertail with black wing tips, and straight thin bill. Females are gray/brown with a big of soft blue on their wings and tail.
DietInsects, fruit, and seeds.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen woodlands, fields, prairies.
NestingNest: Cavity nesters – will use an old woodpecker hold or manmade nesting box.
Brood: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 4-8 eggs/brood
Egg size: 1″ x .8″
Egg color: Pale blue to bluish-white (rarely pure white)
Incubation: 18-21 days

Nest & Eggs

mountain bluebird nest and eggs inside a nesting box
Mountain bluebird nest and eggs inside a nesting box. Photo by Lou Ann Harris via Mountain Bluebird Trails.

Range Map

Mountain bluebird range map.
Mountain bluebird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern mockingbird standing on an electrical box
Northern mockingbird. Image by zoosnow from Pixabay
AppearanceNorthern mockingbirds are about 10″ long. They have gray above and white below. Wings are dark gray with patches of white. They have long beaks and yellow eyes.
DietInsects and berries.
Feeder FoodSuet.
HabitatNorthern mockingbirds prefer thickets and brushy areas with open areas nearby.
NestingNest: They nest in a thick shrub or tree between 1-10′ up. Northern mockingbird males select several nesting sites and begin building nests in each. The female will pick her favorite and finish the nest. They won’t abandon these nests but move to another with each brood
Brood: 2-3 broods/season
Clutch: 2-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Light blue to greenish-white sporting brown or red spots.
Egg size: 1.1 inches by 0.8 inches
Incubation: 12-14 days and fledglings leave the nest at 11-15 days.

Nest & Eggs

Northern mockingbird nest & its blue eggs.
Northern mockingbird nest & its blue eggs. Photo by Kalee Roberson.

Range Map

Northern mockingbird range map.
Northern mockingbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird.
Red-winged blackbird. Photo by Richard Sagredo on Unsplash
AppearanceA medium-sized jet black bird about 8 1/2″ long with a red and yellow patch on the shoulder of the upper wing. Pointy black bill. The females are brown and heavily streaked. She has white eyebrows and a brown bill.
DietInsects, seeds.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, peanut hearts, millet.
HabitatWet areas like marshes but also found in meadows, fields, and even wooded edges.
NestingNest: Cup-shaped nest located low in shrubs or trees. Broods: 1-2 broods/year
Clutch: 2-4 eggs/brood
Egg color: Bluish-green to gray with brown or black markings
Egg size: 1″ by about .6 – .8″
Incubation: 10-12 days.

Nest & Eggs

Red-wing blackbird nest and blue eggs.
Red-wing blackbird nest and blue eggs. Image by Ingrid Bischler from Pixabay

Range Map

Red-winged blackbird range map.
Red-winged blackbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Varied Thrush

Varied thrush perched on a branch
Varied thrush. Image by Veronika Andrews from Pixabay
AppearanceVaried thrushes are large birds about 9 1/2″ long. They are orange underneath except for the black band across the breast. Orange also stripes each side of the head above the eyes. Black back, head, and weaved with orange on the wings. The female is the same except brown instead of black.
DietInsects, berries, fruits, and nuts.
Feeder FoodMay forage for food beneath a feeder.
HabitatThis bird prefers moist coniferous and mixed forests with a closed canopy.
NestingNest: They nest in a conifer 4-20′ up. Females choose the location and build the nest, including layers of moss, mud, twigs, leaves, and grass.
Broods: They have 12-broods/season
Clutch: 1-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale sky blue with occasional dark-brown speckling.
Egg size: 1.1 – 1.4 inches by 0.8 – 0.9 inches
Incubation: 12 days. Fledglings leave the nest at about 13-15 days.

Nest & Eggs

thrush egg cracked open and empty
Thrush egg cracked open. Image by Rune Gangstø from Pixabay

Range Map

Varied thrush range map.
Varied thrush range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Western Bluebird

Western bluebird perched on branch
Western Bluebird
AppearanceSmall bird 7″ long, deep blue underparts, orange-chestnut back and breast. Female gray/blue, light blue wings and tail, and pale chestnut breast.
DietInsects, fruits & berries.
Feeder FoodMealworms
HabitatOpen woodlands especially those with pines and oaks, orchards, and farmland with some trees.
NestingNest: Cavity nesters – old woodpecker hold or manmade nesting box.
Brood: 2 broods/season
Clutch: 4-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue without blemishes, although sometimes are white
Egg size: Length: 0.8-2.4″ x Width: .8″
Incubation: 12-18 days and young fledge at about 20 days.

Nest & Eggs

YouTube video
Western bluebird nest and eggs.

Range Map

Mountain bluebird range map.
Mountain bluebird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Birds that lay Specific Blue Eggs

OK, the above is a long list of common birds that lay blue eggs. But what if you’re in a hurry and the blue eggs or nest that you are interested in is very specific? I got you. To follow are the blue eggs, or the nest, that have unique attributes along with the bird that lays them. Quick identification is on its way!

Birds that lay blue eggs with brown spots

There are eight birds that lay blue eggs with brown spots. Those species are listed below.

  1. American Crow
  2. American Goldfinch
  3. Blue Grosbeak
  4. Blue Jay
  5. Cassin’s Finch
  6. Northern Mockingbird
  7. Red-winged Blackbird
  8. Varied Thrush

what birds lay tiny blue eggs

While the vast majority of bird eggs are relatively small, there is one that can be considered tiny (1/2″ in length or less). It’s the American Goldfinch.

Birds have small blue eggs

Below are birds that lay small blue eggs. Specifically, blue eggs that are less than 1″ in length (which includes tiny eggs).

  1. American Goldfinch
  2. Blue Grosbeak
  3. Cassin’s Finch
  4. Eastern Bluebird
  5. House Finch
  6. Lesser Goldfinch
  7. Western Bluebird

what birds lay blue-green eggs

Below are birds that lay blue-green eggs.

  1. American Crow
  2. American Robin
  3. Gray Catbird
  4. Northern Mockingbird
  5. Red-winged Blackbird

what birds have bright blue eggs

Below are birds that lay bright blue eggs.

  1. American Crow
  2. American Robin
  3. Gray Catbird

which birds have pale blue eggs

Several birds lay pale blue eggs. They include:

  1. Blue Grosbeak
  2. Blue Jay
  3. Eastern Bluebird
  4. European Starling
  5. House Finch
  6. Lesser Goldfinch
  7. Mountain Bluebird
  8. Varied Thrush
  9. Western Bluebird

what birds lay blue eggs on the ground

The Great Blue Heron and Blue-Footed Booby lay their blue eggs in a nest that rests on the ground.

FAQs

Are you craving more information about what birds have blue eggs? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Do sparrows have blue eggs?

House Sparrows occasionally have light blue eggs but usually have light white or green-white eggs. These eggs often have spots of gray or brown.

Do Robins Lay Blue Eggs?

Yes, American Robins lay bright sky blue or blue-green eggs. Their eggs do not have spots or markings and are about 1.1″ long x 8″ wide.

Conclusion 

There are more than 20 species of North American birds that lay blue eggs that range from pale to bright blue to blue-green. And many with their own unique markings. Hopefully, you were able to identify the blue egg you’ve discovered with this comprehensive guide.

Happy Birding!

More than 25 years ago, Tammy put her first bird feeder outside her kitchen window. Since then she learned how to attract wild birds to her backyard. Studying the meaning & symbolism of wild birds is also a passion of hers. Read more about Tammy