Behavior Questions

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  • #3979
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    ” found some stuff in the box.” I’m sure you know this already but wrens only use sticks so if it is anything else it isn’t a house wren.

    Tammy

    #3986
    Brad
    Participant
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    It’s a pine straw circle. He’s making good progress. And I see the bluebird in and out of the box and hanging out in the area.

    Will he build a nest without a female or just start it and wait for her to finish it? I’ve only seen the male. When would you start seeing a female, if he has one? I don’t think I’ve even seen a female yet in person, come to think of it.

    #3989
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    I don’t believe that I have ever seen the male build the nest. But then, I have always had a pair. The male does bring grass, pine needles etc but the female generally puts it all together. Maybe some of the others have had this experience.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #3991
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    I have never seen a male build a nest, either. My male is very attentive, but has not entered the nest box since mama laid the first egg. He is first to the box each morning, sticks his head in a couple of times, then perches nearby. Mama then flies right into the box. I am not 100% certain she is incubating yet, as she spends 15 minutes every hour with her head sticking out of the box, just looking around. The clutch seems to be set at 5 eggs, but she appears to be in no particular rush to incubate them…

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3992
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    Randy, If she has stopped laying, she is incubating. She is probably taking a break to keep the eggs and an optimal temperature. If it is warm out she may not be in the box at all for a while. Start your count for the day of hatch from the day that she laid the 5th egg and add 14. That should be hatch day.

    Brad, your male sounds like he is still trying to attract a female. He may add pine needles and sprigs of grass to the box but I doubt that he would build a full cup nest without a female present. Keep us posted on when a female arrives.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA. Reason: to add comment for Brad

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #3994
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Certainly agree with the conventional wisdom, David; makes the most sense. A couple of things argue against it, however: It’s cold. Mid 50’s during the day, 40’s at night. Also, the eggs are cold. She has not brought them up to temperature yet. I am not at all worried, just interested in their behavior. These two know what they are doing.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3995
    Brad
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    Maybe it’s a female. I just assumed it was a male putting the beginnings of a nest in the box to attract a female. It’s definitely already being made into a circle though.

    I thought the females were more brown. But it may be a female that is fairly blue. It isn’t a brilliant as the blue I have seen on some around.

    How long does making a nest normally take them?

    #3996
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    5-7 days. 39 days, if a male is trying to do it. :)

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3997
    Brad
    Participant
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    5-7 days. 39 days, if a male is trying to do it. :)

    Ha! Are they pretty tolerant of disruptions? I was pretty active today with the garage open and my neighbor actually used my garage as a workshop with power tools for about 3 hours. Still saw the bird around after all the noise was done.

    #3998
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    EABLs are quite tolerant; more so than most species. Even when they do get spooked, they come right back. Two days ago, I thought I had seen mama leave the box, so I went to adjust the sparrow spooker and do a quick egg count. As I was tinkering with things on the outside of the box, she stuck her head out and just looked at me. Then went right back into the box.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3999
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    The standard answer is – it depends. If she is ready to start laying and she the male are working at it it could be a couple of days. If they are just “courting” it could be 3-5 days. You will be surprised at how fast they build and how neatly engineered your nest will look.

    The females are a dull blue and do not have the significant orange breast color that the male has.
    Here is my female. Note that the blue is slightly dull and does have a “dusty” tinge to it.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4012
    Brad
    Participant
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    It was easy enough this morning. Walked out to see the brilliant blue male sitting in the nearby tree, then saw the female fly out of the box with her more dull blue.

    This is either day 2 or 3 of nest building. I’m not sure whether the first day with a handful of pieces of straw count. But they’re getting on with it pretty well. I guess I need to go ahead and work on a wren guard out of cardboard.

    #4013
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    The nest is coming along fine. I believe that they will finish it off with softer grass and the female may even line it with tufts of down.

    Happy nesting!

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4042
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    How long does making a nest normally take them?

    Females can make a nest in a matter of days. A male takes a lifetime if he does it at all. Which he doesn’t. :ShakeHeadSadly:

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4111
    Brad
    Participant
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    The nest appears to have been completed 2 days ago but I haven’t really seen the female around. I still see the male hanging out nearby. I’m not out there all that often so she could still be around, I just haven’t seen her.

    Do they often wait some period of time after building the nest before laying eggs? I assume if they built a nest to completion they intend to use it, right?

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