Behavior Questions

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  • #4142
    dogsandbirds
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    Brad, if you have anything shiny to make the strips with that would be good. There’s something about the shiny things fluttering that they don’t like.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4149
    Brad
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    Thanks a lot for all the help so far! Hopefully I’m not too much of a bother.

    3 eggs yesterday. Not checking until after noon, although the 4th should be in there now.

    I made a new sparrow spooker yesterday. It seems to hang well and they are usually straight down but move around in the breeze. Let me know if this does or doesn’t seem adequate.

    Tomorrow should be day/egg 5. Would incubation typically begin immediately? During incubation, will the female usually be in the box unless it’s quite warm out? What should I do about checking the box or leaving it alone during incubation? Thanks!

    #4151
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Brad, yes your spooker looks good – believe it is the shiny flopping around that HOSP do not like.

    #4152
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    Brad the spooker should work well. A little breeze will keep the Mylar strips moving andbe a distraction for the HOSP and possible the wrens.

    Incubation begins at the discretion of the female bird. She may not actually start incubating until the evening after she has laid the last egg. She may or may not stay in the nestbox depending on the temperature of the eggs. When it is cool, such as Spring evenings like we are having now (high 30s to 40 degrees) she will stay if not disturbed. As the eggs warm and as the days get hotter she will be in the box less frequently. She is the one that decides when she needs to be there.

    Enjoy the trip

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4153
    dogsandbirds
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    Brad, during incubation I rarely look in a box as long as things seem to be going okay. If the female is going in and out and the male is hanging around sometimes, chances are all is well. There is no need to closely manage during this time. When it’s close to hatching time or the expected hatch date, I’ll look to see what is happening.

    Whatever you do, please avoid checking at dusk. If you flush her she would have a hard time finding her way back to the box. Songbirds don’t see well in dim light.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4154
    Brad
    Participant
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    Should I check the box daily or leave it alone during incubation? Here it’s in the 70s-80s during the day right now.

    2 of the recent days I opened the box, the female was in there. I don’t like disturbing her unnecessarily.

    #4158
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Brad, I’m with Gin on this one. Mine are in incubation mode, and I just leave them alone. I recently posted in another thread that you can just tell that things are okay, when mama flies into and out of the nest box periodically, and papa doesn’t fall down drunk out of a nearby tree.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #4161
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
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    You mentioned the drunk bird business? I should have remembered that. :ROFL:

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4180
    Brad
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    I checked yesterday expecting to find a 5th egg, but there were only 4. There was also a little bit of white something on the top of one of the eggs. She spent most of the time in the box yesterday.

    Is it normal to only lay 4 eggs? It seems like she started incubating yesterday. If that is the case, would that make the 23rd the hatch day?

    #4181
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    Blues may lay 4 or 5 eggs. It depends on the female. I have had 1 season of 4, 4, and the 5 eggs and 3 years ago it was a 5, 5, and 4 season. The white spot is probably fecal matter.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4194
    dogsandbirds
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    The 23rd sounds about right, maybe a day earlier or later.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4232
    Brad
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    I haven’t been around to watch much, but I don’t often see the male around. Is that normal?

    The female is often not in the nest box during the day when it’s in the 80s, which seems to be normal. She is there when the temp gets cooler. But I see the male (or at least a male…not sure it’s the same one) here and there, across the street on the house or on a neighbors house. But he doesn’t hang out in the trees right next to the box, best I can tell. Is that normal?

    Eggs are still there and accounted for.

    #4234
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    This is normal. The male is around but does not have a job to do during incubation – unless he brings a grub or bug for the female. He will get busy helping with feeding after the hatch.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4246
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
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    During incubation, I think the males spend their time on the golf course or napping.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4362
    Brad
    Participant
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    First egg was May 5. Last was May 8. I figured they should hatch May 21-23. I just checked the box and saw this, but had no mom or dad in the box or around when I looked:

    Should they all hatch today or might some not hatch until tomorrow?

    How long should the sparrow spooker and wren guard remain on the box? I remember saying day 4 or 5 for the wren guard but I don’t remember about the spooker.

    Anything else I should do, not do, etc.?

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