Royal Saskatchewan Museum Launches New Online Bird Egg Database

Nature lovers and bird enthusiasts this spring will have a new digital tool to help identify bird species when they find a nest.

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) has created an online database featuring bird egg photographs from more than 300 species that nest in Canada. 

“The egg database is just one example of the innovative work taking place behind the scenes at the museum,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. “In addition to the amazing exhibits and educational programming available to the public, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is known internationally for their excellence in research – scientists are always working on something new and exciting.”

With over 400 documented bird species breeding in Canada, bird identification by sight and sound has become a necessary skill for many wildlife professionals and researchers, as well as an increasingly popular pastime among bird enthusiasts. However, wildlife professionals and researchers may also frequently come across wild bird nests that can only be identified based on the characteristics of the eggs that are observed. 

“Identification of the “owners” of these nests and eggs is important given legal requirements in Canada for individuals or industry when conducting activities that might impact the nests of migratory birds,” RSM Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Dr. Ryan Fisher said. “In addition, academic research on bird egg colouration and the need for intact specimens has also increased in recent years and the use of museum collections in this research is critical.”

The database will also be a useful reference tool for citizen-science projects such as Birds Canada’s NestWatch that encourage citizens to submit data on nesting birds. 

“With this new database, citizen-science projects have easily accessible reference material to identify nests they might be monitoring,” Dr. Fisher said. “Despite the practical need and research interest, there are very few bird egg reference materials available, and none have a focus on bird eggs in Canada. This is the first online egg identification resource that we are aware of for Canada, as all of the other resources are hardcopy books.” 

While this will be an amazing resource for individuals to appreciate the vast beauty and diversity of bird eggs, it is advised to appreciate these eggs on the website and not to disturb nesting birds – disturbing nests can place great stress on nesting birds and is also illegal.

The database is linked to the RSM website and has its own address at

To learn more about the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s programming and world class research, visit:

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