why are robin eggs blue

October 12th, 2020 by

We had to move her from “the woods” to a new home. While you might be most familiar with “robin’s egg blue”, many species of birds lay blue-colored eggs.

The eggshell comes from pigments in the mothers blood. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Ano ang mga kasabihan sa sa aking kababata? If Only Democrats Were What the GOP Claims. And indeed, there are a number of hypotheses that explain eggshell pigmentation -- the most widely accepted are either camouflage or protection from sunlight. Photo Gallery of Wild Bird Nests and Eggs, Beginner's Guide to Choosing Chicken Breeds for Your Small Farm Flock. Since this is such a simple and obvious question to ponder, you'd think someone would have figured out the reason long ago. One was why are robin eggs blue? Their eggs were unique because instead of brown or white eggs, robin’s had blue eggs. But at the same time, the darker pigments also allowed the eggs to absorb more light and thus, caused them to heat up more quickly -- and over-heating can speed up embryonic development, which then leads to a suite of other problems. Eggs may be plain, or they may have markings in different colors, such as red-brown, deep purple, black, gray, or green.

Original written by David C. Lahti and Daniel R. Ardia. "Why robin eggs are blue: Mystery of blue-green bird eggs solved: Researchers show that egg color protects the embryo from harmful sunlight." Originally published at Forbes on 25 July 2016. birds that nest on, or close to, the ground, over-heating can speed up embryonic development, Anti-Maskers Have Made Life a Living Hell for Everyone Else, The Republican Party Has Nothing to Offer Anymore, Armed Fragility Threatens Democracy More Than Ever. Materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals.

Many other species also lay eggs in various shades of blue, teal, turquoise, and blue-green, including: Regardless of the species, however, the same principles that explain why robin eggs are blue explain the bluish coloration of all different wild bird eggs. Dear Bird Lover: I concur with you about wild birds — they are here for everyone to enjoy, and in spring, sometimes you will find fragments of tiny blue robin’s eggs under trees. Although scientists can’t go back in time to observe the emergence of blue eggs, they can think carefully about which properties might be most different between blue and non-blue eggs — which is what these researchers did. (Now, What Are You Going to Do with Them? Eggshell pigments and color patterns reveal a lot about where a bird nests and the sorts of evolutionary challenges it faces before it even hatches, by GrrlScientist for Forbes | @GrrlScientist.

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Previously, my writing was hosted by a number of sites, including The Guardian, ABS-CBN, The Evolution Institute, BirdNote Radio, ScienceBlogs.com, Nature Network and BirdingBlogs.com. Vote for this answer. When an incubation period is strongly affected by heat from the sun, chicks are subject to greater mutations and higher fatalities because their development is rushed. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. Get unlimited access when you subscribe. The eggshell comes from pigments in the mothers blood. Thus, plain, bright eggshell colors must necessarily result from different sorts of evolutionary pressures than does camouflage from hungry predators. Results support all of these predictions. But why are robin eggs blue, and what can colors reveal about different wild bird eggs? Here’s What The Real Future Probably Looks Like. What is the hink-pink for blue green moray? . Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. So robins eat first thing in the morning, and THEN lay their eggs.

Robin’s signified new beginnings. Egg-cellent! All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. But why are robin eggs blue, and what can colors reveal about different wild bird eggs? They find their worms by sight, so there needs to be a little light for them to hunt, but the worms hide soon after sunrise. Anonymous. Thus, in sunlit nesting environments, less pigmentation will increase the detrimental effect of transmittance, but more pigmentation will increase the detrimental effect of absorbance.

Currently voted the best answer. Want it all? The other widely accepted hypothesis is that plain unspeckled eggs might be the best compromise for surviving exposure to the Sun. Mama Joe battled Alzheimer’s. The shell gland is the avian equivalent of a mammal's uterus and is near the end of the oviduct, just before the cloaca. How long will the footprints on the moon last? | @GrrlScientist, Although I look like a parrot, I am an evolutionary ecologist and ornithologist as well as a science writer and journalist. The bile pigment biliverdin is responsible for blue tones in bird eggs. The camouflage provided by dull, mottled eggshells is, of course, the most important factor driving the evolution of eggshell colors and patterns, especially for birds that nest on, or close to, the ground. Spring is a season of lovely colors, from the pretty pinks of tulips and tree blossoms to the sunny yellows of daffodils and baby chicks to the soft, beautiful blue of robin's eggs. ScienceDaily. But camouflage does not explain why other birds’ eggs would have bright, plain colors, such as unspeckled white or intense blues and greenish-blues — since these colors can make eggs easy to spot, especially when they are in an open-cup nest. In addition to giving a clue about a bird's nesting habits with regards to the sunlight that reaches a nest, the colors of eggshells can indicate: While understanding eggshell color is fascinating, it doesn't fully explain why robin eggs are blue. Their central questions focused on identifying whether eggshell pigmentation could help the egg maintain a balance between two opposing, and potentially damaging, effects of sunlight: the transmission of light (including UV) through white or light-colored eggshells and the rapid overheating of eggs with darker (greenish-blue) shells. (doi:10.1086/685780). "Why robin eggs are blue: Mystery of blue-green bird eggs solved: Researchers show that egg color protects the embryo from harmful sunlight." Robin eggs aren't the only blue wild bird eggs.

What is the time signature of the song Atin Cu Pung Singsing? Even Charles Darwin wondered about the evolutionary reasons that birds’ eggshells range in color from white to dark greenish-blue. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC.

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