The act of stealing song bird and game bird eggs is illegal in most areas. But if you’re hungry and you happen upon a nest full of fresh eggs in springtime, you can fry, hard boil or poach your way to a delicious protein packed meal. Set your worries aside, as there are no “poisonous” eggs. Just be aware that bird eggs develop at different rates, and you may end up with a yellow chick inside that shell, instead of the yellow yolk you were expecting. Collecting eggs for food has been around as long as we have been around, and in a dire situation – it shouldn’t be ruled out.
Sure, emu and ostrich are the biggest wild bird eggs. But goose eggs are pretty big, too. These are the largest wild bird eggs you’ll find in North America, and a female goose can lay half a dozen white eggs in her large nest. Each of these eggs is double the size of a chicken egg. The calories range from 175 to 225 per egg. Due to the egg size, their standout color, and the protective presence of both goose parents, the goose nests are often easy to spot. But that’s where the easy part ends. Fiercely protective, the geese will not give up their eggs without a fight. Running at the nest and grabbing one or two eggs is your best approach. This keeps you from impacting the bird’s population too much, and it keeps you from getting goosed (bitten) by the geese, which could startle you into dropping the precious eggs. Goose eggs are typically found in late March or early April, depend on the latitude and temperatures. They also take about a month to hatch, giving you about a week in the beginning when the eggs don’t look like an embryo yet.
These tips, and many more survival tips, are in MacWelch’s books: Prepare For Anything, The Hunting and Gathering Survival Manual, How To Survive Anything, and available now, Tim’s latest release, The Ultimate Winter Survival Handbook.
Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch
And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine