As well as investigating bird carcasses, we are interested in the eggs of birds of prey. Licensed egg collectors send addled and deserted eggs that they would normally collect as part of their studies and activites to the PBMS.
*Please note it is against the law to interfere with bird nests and remove an egg without a licence.* If you are licenced and would like to submit bird of prey eggs to the PBMS please phone 01524 595830 or contact us.
We need eggs because some types of contaminants, such as mercury, can affect the development of the embryo in a birds egg. Often it is the concentration of these contaminants within the egg that determines whether embryotoxic effects occur. Embryotoxic means a substance that is in any way harmful to an embryo.
We have measured concentrations of contaminants in golden eagle and merlin eggs. This is a useful addition to our data because we are do not receive enough carcasses of golden eagles and merlins each year to enable us to carry out statistical analysis. Using eggs allows the scheme to track the levels of contaminants in these species over the years and identify changes in long term trends.