Appears male bluebird may have abandoned female after laying eggs

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  • #1241
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    Hi-

    I have what appears to be the same bluebird pair come back to nest in a different box in my yard this year. These two have always been together by coming to my feeder & when building their nest, etc. There are now six eggs in the nest & she appears to be incubating now. :BlueBirds-baby3: :BlueBirds-baby3: However, I have seen him in the last few days, but not anywhere around her or the nest box. He’ll come to my courtyard to get mealworms or drink from the bird bath, but then flies off somewhere else while she is either in the box or perched up in the tree where she can see the box. It’s as if they broke up. I’m worried that she’s being left alone to deal with the situation. He doesn’t come around to feed her or attend to her at all & I never see him perched up in the tree nearby like he was before. I put up the sparrow spooker after the 2nd egg & I’m wondering if he doesn’t like it as I didn’t have it last year when they nested in the courtyard. I’m perplexed as to what is happening. Has anyone ever encountered this? Should I tie up the streamers on sparrow spooker or take it down to see if he returns? I’m just afraid that once the babies hatch, she’ll be on her on. I keep thinking, “No, of course he’ll be there with her, but why isn’t he with her right now when he always has been?” Like I said, I saw him twice today, but completely ignoring her & the nesting site. Please help! Very concerned!

    Nicole

    #1243
    The Original Bluebird Nut
    Admi-nut-strator
    • Topics started 25
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    Sometimes the males aren’t as attentive during the incubation phase as they are during the courting & nestbuilding stages, but then step up to the plate again once the eggs hatch. Mom CAN care for those babies herself, but if the male is acting more like a “Baby Daddy” than a real father, then you could help her out by feeding mealworms. She’ll appreciate it.


    Central NY
    TMB Studios

    #1247
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    Thanks for your reply, Cher. I decided to take down the sparrow spooker today & he’s back up in the tree or on top of the box when she’s in it. I hate to go without the sparrow spooker, but he seems to be spooked himself. I realize that he won’t always be around during this time, but these two have been inseparable since I 1st saw them last Spring. He truly was ignoring her for 4 straight days. Do you think I should try to reintroduce the sparrow spooker? I could hang two streamers at a time per day until all six are hanging by tying others up, but I already did this when I noticed his hesitancy originally. Once all the strands were hanging, he disappeared. Again, I hate not to try & protect them from sparrows, but want him to be there to help her. Any ideas? Anybody? I’m all ears!

    Nicole
    PS- Cher, love the little bird cartoon caricatures. Too cute!

    #1248
    The Original Bluebird Nut
    Admi-nut-strator
    • Topics started 25
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    You could try re-introducing the spooker slowly and give him some time to get used to it. As long as SHE is going into the box, that’s the important thing. I don’t know what others might say, but that’s probably what I would do, especially if you know there are HOSP in the area.


    Central NY
    TMB Studios

    #1258
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    Nicole, try the spooker again very gradually if you have HOSP. He might get used to it this time around. Have you seen HOSP? They are not necessarily everywhere. I don’t have them here. :BagOverHead: Seriously, I don’t.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1259
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
    • Replies 217
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    Thank you Cher & Gin. Truly appreciate your replies. I did put the sparrow spooker back up & am untying a new row of streamers each day. Tomorrow, I’ll let down the front row again, which will be the last. I am seeing the male around again, but tomorrow will be the true test. Surely, he knows by now that it won’t harm him. Late last spring, I got a new next door neighbor & she was feeding the seed with fillers that you get at the grocery store. Within a month, there were up to 100 HOSP’s in her yard & of course, crossing over into my yard & others. They took over my mealworm feeders & it just became a huge mess. Luckily, I spoke to her & she didn’t realize the negative impact she was causing, so we both agreed to stop feeding for several months. When she started feeding again, she agreed that she would go to Wild Birds Unlimited & select other things to feed. She is now feeding mealworms. For the most part, the HOSPs relocated, but with them now familiar with our location, I still see some around, but we are no longer infested with them. Our yards are very close together, so if the situation wouldn’t have been corrected, I wasn’t even going to put my 2 boxes up this year for fear of terrible problems. Again, so glad she worked with the bluebirds & the other little songbirds we so long to attract. Just didn’t want to go without the sparrow spooker if at all possible, so the male is just going to have to “man up.” I saw a little titmice on my porch today gathering nesting material, but don’t know where she was going with it. So cute. Thanks again!

    Gin, I lived in Atlanta for 10 years (Buckhead area). You are so lucky to not have HOSPs. I don’t have house wrens, so that’s good.

    Nicole

    #1268
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    That’s a good neighbor right there!

    You think he knows you won’t harm him? He doesn’t know that! He is right to be wary of you and not because you would hurt him. Wild animals are like that.

    Believe me when I say I know how lucky I am not to have HOSP. They are only a couple of miles away so I know they could arrive any day. We have been in this house for over 20 years and so far, so good.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1269
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    Well, the rest of the streamers came down today on the sparrow spooker & the male is around. My niece said she actually saw him go into the house. I think he’s finally accepted it. Gin, I meant that hopefully the male realized the spooker wouldn’t harm him by now. I know that he’s wary of me, as he should be. However, the last two times I approached the box, I let the female know I was coming & didn’t think she was in there since she didn’t fly out. Both times,she just stayed there incubating her eggs (even when I opened the box). Thought that was a bit unusual…

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Nicole

    #1277
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    Nicole, I misread you. It happens more often than I like.

    Sometimes birds do sit tight when you open a box even if you knock on it and approach making a little noise. Brave birds!

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1326
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    I used to put up a spooker every time and now I’ve gotten a little lazy and do not. Usually I do not have issues. Glad it worked out for you.

    Tammy

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