Eggs of New Zealand
What begun as a personal interest has involved into a whole new world. The study of oology (eggs). From tiny fragments of shell found scattered across the garden, to the incubation of the endangered kiwi, everytime I hold an egg I marvel at how such a simple object can create such incredible life.
This lead me to explore the inner workings of the egg, but also the outside. Why do they look so different? Why are some bright blue and others cryptically hidden in their environment?
The study of oology has greatly changed over the years, from the collection of wild bird eggs, to the showcasing of these stunning natural gems. With an egg collection dating back as early as 1963, this collection sparked my interest in photographing each egg and showcasing their colours and patterns.
The idea for an identification guide alongside the photography however only came about from my job working in a nature reserve. Every breeding season, people young and old would bring in fragments of egg shells discovered on their journey around the forest, asking what bird I thought they may have come from. No matter what the species, everyone would be in awe of such a precious little shell cap, especially when I could say it had come from a bird such as a tui, and from the inside you could see it had hatched.
I developed a display in one of the spare kiosks, showcasing a collection of common eggs and their nests (from old collections). From here people posted social media posts talking about it, school groups discussed the sizes and variations and people would use them to match up egg pieces they had found themselves at home. Their enthusiasm kept me going, wanting to learn more and share my interests. Over the years, other collections were donated to the reserve that helped build this library of eggs. This also ensured I maintained my ethical mantra when it came to wildlife photography- do no harm. While I could not change the past, hopefully I could change the future in inspiring people to respect and protect birds and their nests by learning to appreciate these little treasures.
All eggs in the guide are from pre-1980, however some of the rarer species have come from infertile eggs of birds in Conservation Programs. Under the Wildlife Act 1953 it is illegal to disturb any nest of native wildlife, and all native bird eggs are held under the Department of Conservation Wildlife Permit.
Throughout the book you will find photographs of the birds of New Zealand and their eggs. Each egg has been photographed showcasing the colours, shape and variation.
over 100 eggs documented
Each egg profile contains a description including measurements, incubation time and clutch size. Can be used as an egg ID guide for egg fragments found in the garden or on the forest path.
60 Species profiled
Learn about how an egg is formed and the biology behind the colour, shape and size variation. Understand why some appear cryptic, while others stand out against their environment.
learn from nature
Featuring eggs from common garden birds and also rare endemic native birds. Compare the takahe and pukeko eggs to see the similarities in these historical ancestors.