Birds’ eggs

Our blog entry, Hatching a plan, shared the mystery birds’ eggs, which had sat on a storeroom shelf for decades, with no entry form or donor details. We have just put them on display, ready for visitors to see during our 2023 opening season and beyond.

Egg collecting was once a popular hobby, but is now illegal. Since 1954, it has been illegal to take eggs of most wild birds. It is also illegal to possess the eggs of wild birds taken since the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

We do not know when these eggs were collected, but they have been in the museum for a long time, blown, wrapped and labelled, presumably by a local egg collector. The individual packages were fastened with yellowed sticky tape and labelled with self adhesive stickers. However, on opening the packages, most of them contained a blown egg and a much older label, written in black ink, with the common and Latin bird’s name written on it in black ink.

Our belief is, that the eggs were collected long ago, possibly before the 1954 date but were later taken from a collector’s display and wrapped in tissue and labelled. At some point after that, they must have been put in the museum, which opened in 1985.

The collection is now in one of our display drawers in the museum’s entrance room.

We will take a closer look next time.

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