Embryo & shell

This common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and sibling did not make it past their embryo stage of development. The broken eggs were found this morning shortly after falling from the nest.

Eurasian jays may be to blame: these large birds are particularly active and efficient predators in the area. It is common to see them fiercely hunting down great tit and blue tit fledglings, and just two mornings ago, a couple of them visited the pigeon nest the eggs fell from. They quickly left because one of the parents was incubating the eggs, but must have kept a close eye on the nest. Magpies could also be responsible.

Established for the domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica), the above table of development (link to full size image) shows that the embryo was quite advanced and only had little time left before hatching.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

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6 thoughts on “Embryo & shell

  1. Feels like such a pity to have the egg strewn from the nest, so close to being a living being… The embryology is startlingly similar to that of a human, I cannot help but feel a twinge of sadness. But that is life I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, it was a little sad to see, especially since I think it was the jays again! I don’t blame them, they need to eat, but they’ve been killing loads around my block this spring so far, a little too much for my emotional human brain!

    The embryo development looks amazing, I just love it, I’d love to incubate duck or chicken eggs to see all the process once.

    Liked by 1 person

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