What Birds Don’t Lay Eggs?

Quick Answer:

All birds lay eggs except for two species of flightless birds, the kiwi and the emu. These birds do not have a keel bone, which is necessary for powered flight, and have evolved to lay larger eggs that can better support their weight.

Have you ever seen a bird and wondered how it is able to fly around so gracefully? We often think of birds as being synonymous with eggs, but did you know that not all birds lay eggs? That’s right – there are some species of birds that don’t rely on egg-laying for reproduction. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the different types of birds that don’t lay eggs and what makes them unique in comparison to their avian counterparts.

Get ready to have your mind blown! Believe it or not, some flying creatures aren’t even considered “birds” at all. For example, bats are technically classified as mammals even though they can fly like birds do. They also reproduce by giving birth instead of laying eggs – something that sets them apart from most other living things with wings.

As we explore further into the world of non-egg-laying birds, we’ll find out why these extraordinary creatures don’t need to use eggs for survival and see just how much more amazing they truly are. So come along with me on an adventure through the fascinating realm of aviary oddities!

Oviparous Species

Oviparous species are those that lay eggs. This egg-laying behavior is not limited to avian creatures, as many reptiles and amphibians also fall under this category. Like the Phoenix of mythology rising from its ashes, oviparous organisms reproduce through a cycle involving creation from an egg. Non-avian species in particular rely on their eggs for survival and maturation into fully grown adults. Reptiles such as turtles and lizards produce hard shelled offspring that must be carefully incubated until hatching occurs. Amphibians like frogs go even further with some utilizing external fertilization before the young develop within a jellylike membrane outside the female’s body until they are ready to hatch. As time passes, these small aquatic creatures will eventually metamorphose into mature adult specimens capable of reproducing themselves – continuing the cycle anew. With such fascinating behaviors observed among oviparous animals, we transition now to viviparous species: those whose offsprings gestate inside the mother’s body…

Viviparous Species

Moving on from oviparous species, we’ll now explore viviparous species. These are live-bearing birds that do not lay eggs – non-oviparous birds. Bird viviparity is the process of giving birth to offspring rather than laying eggs and is known as avian viviparity.

This form of reproduction can be found in most mammals but only a few bird species use it, such as some seabirds, waterfowls, raptors and parrots. Generally speaking, the female will carry fertilized eggs inside her body until they hatch and then give birth to chicks or fledglings instead of laying eggs outside her nest. This type of reproduction helps protect developing embryos against extreme environmental conditions like cold temperatures and high humidity levels.

Viviparous birds have shorter incubation periods compared to oviparous birds since their young benefit from more nutrients during development due to being carried by the mother while they develop. Additionally, these species often produce larger clutches than other types of birds because there’s no need for them to conserve energy when forming an eggshell around each embryo before it hatches out of its shell.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at different types of bird reproduction next.

Types Of Bird Reproduction

The fascinating world of avian reproduction is varied and complex. From the delicate songbirds to the majestic eagles soaring through the sky, birds come in all shapes and sizes—and so do their reproductive habits. Some lay eggs while others give birth to live young; some invest heavily in parenting duties while other species take a more hands-off approach. Let’s explore these different types of bird reproduction:

Oviparous Birds

  • These birds reproduce by laying eggs that develop outside of the mother’s body. The female will build a nest or use an existing structure for her clutch-size (how many eggs she lays). Then, it is up to either parent or both parents to incubate them until they hatch—a process that can take anywhere from 11 days for small passerines to 55 days for large raptors like Bald Eagles!
  • Once hatched, oviparous bird babies are called “altricial” which means they rely on their parents for sustenance, protection and guidance as they grow.

Viviparous Birds

  • Unlike oviparous birds, viviparous birds give birth to live young after a long gestation period inside the body of the female. Examples include parrots, owls, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and pigeons.
  • Young born this way are much more independent than altricial chicks because they have had time in utero to mature before emerging into the real world. This type of reproduction requires a lot more energy investment from females since there is no eggshell protecting them during development and growth occurs internally instead of externally within an eggshell.

These two methods provide us with insight into how diversely adapted birds are across species and habitats; yet ultimately each strategy exists to ensure survival against odds stacked against them in our ever-changing environment.

Mating Habits Of Egg-Laying Birds

The mating habits of egg-laying birds can be quite fascinating. From courtship rituals to nesting behaviors, many species have unique and intricate ways of reproducing. Here’s a look at some common examples:

Bird TypeMating BehaviorNest Building
DucksCourting ritualsBuilding nests in water or on land with vegetation which they line with soft materials like feathers.
PigeonsMating seasonBuild flimsy platforms made from twigs and lined with grasses, leaves, and feathers for their eggs.
OwlsEgg incubationBuilt high up in trees using sticks, bark strips, and other foliage material to form a cup shape for the eggs.

These three bird types all demonstrate different mating behaviors as well as different nest building techniques that help keep their eggs safe until hatching time. In addition to providing shelter for the young chicks, these nests also offer protection against predators. For instance, owls build their nests high up in trees so that potential predators cannot easily reach them while ducks typically build theirs near bodies of water where they can find food sources more readily than if they were on land alone.

Overall, bird mating behavior is an interesting topic because it helps us understand why certain species have specific characteristics when it comes to reproduction and how their environment affects their choices when choosing a mate and location to lay eggs. With this knowledge we can better appreciate the complexity of nature and its incredible diversity! As we move onto looking at nesting habits of egg-laying birds next, let’s take what we learned here about mating behavior into account to gain further insight into the lives of our feathered friends.

Nesting Habits Of Egg-Laying Birds

Did you know that the majority of birds lay eggs? According to a recent study, over 95% of avian species are egg-laying creatures. This means they build nests and incubate their eggs until they are ready to hatch, usually during breeding season. During this process there are four main elements involved in nest building:

  • Egg incubation
  • Nest defense
  • Egg hatching
  • Breeding Season

The nesting habits of egg-laying birds vary greatly according to their environment and type of bird species. For instance, penguins typically live in colder climates which requires them to layer up with extra feathers for warmth while sitting on the nest.

On the other hand, tropical parrots tend to find more diverse types of materials when constructing nests such as leaves and twigs. No matter what kind of material is used or climate they inhabit, all egg-laying birds take part in some form of nest construction and maintenance as well as egg incubation before hatching occurs during breeding season.

Each pair will also work together to defend the nest against predators who may try to steal their precious cargo – the eggs! While most birds do indeed lay eggs, there are exceptions to this norm within the avian world…

Avian Exceptions To The Egg-Laying Norm

When discussing birds, it’s always important to remember that not all of them lay eggs. As we discussed in the previous section, most species of birds reproduce by oviparity; however, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In some cases, birds will reproduce through vivparity instead – meaning they give birth to live young. This is incredibly rare and only happens in certain types of birds.

The two major groups of avian exceptions to egg-laying are altricial and precocial birds. Altricial birds are born helpless and need their parents for protection and nourishment until they can take care of themselves. Some examples include owls, woodpeckers, flycatchers, hummingbirds, cuckoos, and many more. Precoical birds on the other hand hatch fully developed and able to feed themselves right away. Ducks, geese, pheasants, shorebirds – any bird from the Columbiformes family would fit into this category.

So while it may seem like all birds lay eggs – this isn’t actually true! They don’t necessarily have to rely on an external shell or incubation period before bringing new life into the world. While these methods might be seen as “the norm” when it comes to bird reproduction, there are definitely some unique alternatives out there too.


When it comes to bird species, the majority of them are oviparous and lay eggs. But there are some avian exceptions that don’t adhere to this pattern–they’re viviparous and they nurture their young inside their bodies until they hatch. It’s almost like a mother hen incubating her chicks in an eggshell!
These unique birds provide us with fascinating insight into how reproductive strategies can differ among species. We have much more to learn about the mating habits, nesting preferences, and other behaviors associated with these non-egg laying birds—and those that do lay eggs as well. As we continue our research and understanding of different animals’ reproductive methods, we may find even more surprises in store for us when it comes to avian reproduction.

It’s remarkable how diverse nature is, and every new discovery keeps us exploring further down the rabbit hole. Birds offer us a wealth of knowledge if we take the time to observe them closely; from watching the courtship rituals of egg-laying species to learning about how certain birds raise their young without ever producing an egg—we never know what hidden secret lies waiting around each corner!