Anyone involved in studying the breeding performance of birds will be confronted with failed eggs. Typically these are hardly dealt with: addled eggs simply remain in the nest until they ﬁnally break and release their smelly contents in the nest, or they are discarded from the nest by the researcher to prevent this from happening. Either way represents a loss of potentially valuable data, because carefully studying failed eggs can reveal the factors that limit egg production and breeding success. In about 70% of failed eggs, anomalies can be observed, which are reﬂections of their individual or multiple causes. This book explains how failed eggs can be examined, which anomalies may be observed, and provides guidance into the huge variety of possible causes.
Due to the practical approach of this book, it addresses the needs of both professionals and volunteers who check bird nests in the wild and in captivity. Sections on data-interpretation are from an ecological perspective, from which problem analysis in captive birds can be derived. The checklist enables the examination of bird eggs of all bird species.
Dr Arnold van den Burg holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham on investigating the causes of egg failures in sparrowhawks and barn owls, living in the wild. ln the following years, he had the opportunity to open up failed eggs of many more bird species and to go in-depth researching the environmental issues underlying egg failures.