Images of eggs of all the breeding birds of Alberta, as well as migrant species, are included in the virtual exhibit at:

http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/vexhibit/eggs/vexalta/exmen1.htm

along with photos of the adult where available, distribution maps, and the natural regions in Alberta in which the bird breeds. Here, one example is given for each aquatic order found in Alberta.

Images of eggs of all the breeding birds of Alberta, as well as migrant species, are included in the virtual exhibit at:

http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/vexhibit/eggs/vexalta/exmen1.htm

along with photos of the adult where available, distribution maps, and the natural regions in Alberta in which the bird breeds. Here, one example is given for each aquatic order found in Alberta.


© 2006 The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). All Rights Reserved.

Red-throated Loon, Gavia stellata

Order & Family: Gaviiformes Gaviidae
Description: Long subelliptical and often glossy. Colour is dark brown with darker brown and black spots and blotches.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 74 x 45 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Observed
Parkland: Observed
Foothills: Probable
Grassland: Probable

Red-throated Loon, Gavia stellata

Order & Family: Gaviiformes Gaviidae
Description: Long subelliptical and often glossy. Colour is dark brown with darker brown and black spots and blotches.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 74 x 45 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Observed
Parkland: Observed
Foothills: Probable
Grassland: Probable


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Red-throated Loon

The egg and adult of the red-throated loon.

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Order & Family: Podicipediformes Podicipedidae
Description: Elliptical to subelliptical, smooth and non-glossy. Colour is originally white, becomes nest-stained.
Clutch Size: 4-7 eggs
Egg Size: 44 x 30 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Order & Family: Podicipediformes Podicipedidae
Description: Elliptical to subelliptical, smooth and non-glossy. Colour is originally white, becomes nest-stained.
Clutch Size: 4-7 eggs
Egg Size: 44 x 30 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Pied-billed Grebe

The egg and adult of the pied-billed grebe.

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Order & Family: Pelecaniformes, Pelecanidae
Description: Elliptical to long subelliptical and chalky. Colour is dull white.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 87 x 56 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Observed
Rocky Mountain: Observed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills:
Grassland: Confirmed

American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Order & Family: Pelecaniformes, Pelecanidae
Description: Elliptical to long subelliptical and chalky. Colour is dull white.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 87 x 56 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Observed
Rocky Mountain: Observed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills:
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Pelicans

The egg and adult of the American White Pelican

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias

Order & Family: Ciconiiformes, Ardeidae
Description: Oval to long oval, smooth and non-glossy. Colour is pale greenish-blue.
Clutch Size: 3-7 eggs
Egg Size: 64 x 35 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias

Order & Family: Ciconiiformes, Ardeidae
Description: Oval to long oval, smooth and non-glossy. Colour is pale greenish-blue.
Clutch Size: 3-7 eggs
Egg Size: 64 x 35 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Great Blue Heron  (Ardea herodias)

The egg and adult of the Great Blue Heron

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Canvasback, Aythya valisineria

Order & Family: Anseriformes, Anatidae
Description: Elliptical to subelliptical, smooth and glossy. Colour is pale green to grayish-olive.
Clutch Size: 7-9 eggs
Egg Size: 63 x 45 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Possible
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed

Canvasback, Aythya valisineria

Order & Family: Anseriformes, Anatidae
Description: Elliptical to subelliptical, smooth and glossy. Colour is pale green to grayish-olive.
Clutch Size: 7-9 eggs
Egg Size: 63 x 45 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Possible
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Canvasback

The egg and adult of the Canvasback

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus

Order & Family: Charadriiformes, Recurvirostridae
Description: Subelliptical to oval, smooth and slightly glossy. Colour is pale brown, marked with small black and gray spots.
Clutch Size: 4 eggs
Egg Size: 44 x 31 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest:
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain:
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills:
Grassland: Confirmed

Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus

Order & Family: Charadriiformes, Recurvirostridae
Description: Subelliptical to oval, smooth and slightly glossy. Colour is pale brown, marked with small black and gray spots.
Clutch Size: 4 eggs
Egg Size: 44 x 31 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest:
Canadian Shield:
Rocky Mountain:
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills:
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Black-necked Stilt

The egg and adult of the Black-necked Stilt

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis

Order & Family: Gruiformes, Gruidae
Description: Subelliptical to long subelliptical, smooth and glossy. Colour is olive-buff with brown to lilac spots and blotches.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 94 x 60 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Observed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Observed

Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis

Order & Family: Gruiformes, Gruidae
Description: Subelliptical to long subelliptical, smooth and glossy. Colour is olive-buff with brown to lilac spots and blotches.
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Egg Size: 94 x 60 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Confirmed
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Observed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Observed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Sandhill Crane

The egg and adult of the Sandhill Crane

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Belted Kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon

Order & Family: Coraciiformes, Alcedinidae
Description: Elliptical to short subelliptical or oval, smooth and glossy. Colour is white.
Clutch Size: 6-8 eggs
Egg Size: 34 x 27 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Probable
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed

Belted Kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon

Order & Family: Coraciiformes, Alcedinidae
Description: Elliptical to short subelliptical or oval, smooth and glossy. Colour is white.
Clutch Size: 6-8 eggs
Egg Size: 34 x 27 mm

Breeding Status
Boreal Forest: Confirmed
Canadian Shield: Probable
Rocky Mountain: Confirmed
Parkland: Confirmed
Foothills: Confirmed
Grassland: Confirmed


© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.

Belted Kingfisher

The egg and adult of the Belted Kingfisher

Photos by Graham Mitchell-Lawson and Kim Chapman.
The Royal Alberta Museum, E.T. Jones collection.

© 2006 Government of Alberta and © 1996-2006 Royal Alberta Museum.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Become familiar with the appearance, ecology, and taxonomic groupings of Canadian aquatic bird species, with particular reference to Alberta
  • Recognize that appearance of eggs is specific to species

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