Bluebirds abandon five babies

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Love my blues! 3 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #1878
    Craig Mitchell
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    Good evening
    I’ve been fortunate to attract bluebirds to my property for the last ten years running. I have three nest boxes and each year the pair raised two clutches (one year they raised three!)
    This year they’re back in Ct and have selected box #3, laid five eggs and a few days ago they hatched. Everything was going swimmingly until two days ago when Mom and Dad disappeared. I checked last night and the babies were ravished. Tonight they were all dead.
    What could cause the pair to suddenly abandon the nest and their young?
    I am feeling helpless.

    Maybe nasty House Wrens hurt the young?

    Thank you

    #1879
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    This is heart-breaking & very perplexing. Were there any marks on the babies? It would be very unlikely that both parents would just disappear & abandon the babies for no reason. Is it possible that someone did some spraying in your area & maybe the babies got a dose & they died from that? Maybe the parents knew there was something wrong with them. I do know that something similar happened to be 9 years ago, when one day the 5 babies were perfectly okay, & the next day they were all dead. Parents did not abandon them, but only logical thing we could come up here is insect/herbicide spraying. There were no marks on my babies. I could understand 1 or 2 dying but when all perish, it is hard to figure it out. So sorry. Someone else – chime in here.

    #1881
    Craig Mitchell
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    I am not aware of any pesticide spraying but neighbors are using weed & feed on their lawns. There are a few aggressive House Wrens making noise and filling up the two remaining boxes with twigs and nesting material. I just cleaned them out this morning, again…and left the box fronts open to encourage the Wrens to leave.

    Also saw the bluebirds feeding on a neighbors lawn this morning so they have not left the area entirely. Maybe I will wash out the three houses and perhaps move the one that had the babies.

    #1883
    dogsandbirds
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    Were there visible injuries on these chicks? It’s unusual for a HOWR to leave them in the box. Most of the time they toss them out. If their bellies were bloated you can’t go by that as an indicator of poison. In death, they will bloat. Quite often cause of death remains a mystery.

    Good idea to empty the boxes and leave them open. That might help with the HOWR but since they have established a territory they’ll probably stick around for another battle with you. So sorry! I deal with them all the time.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1911
    Love my blues!
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    Oh Craig. My heart goes out to you & the parents. Just awful!

    Nicole

    #1924
    tamsea
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    So sorry. We’ve all been there.

    Tammy

    #2124
    Craig Mitchell
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    Update May 28. Well, after several weeks of removing House Wren nests and boxes of twigs the wrens moved on. They’re not far away though as they now occupy two boxes on the property next door where the elderly man who lives there never cleans his out. Good riddance.

    My bluebirds returned and after a weeks or so of popping in and out of the three empty nest boxes seemed to have settled on a favorite. Two were empty this morning but the one closest to my home had a nest in it this morning. Fingers crossed.

    #2131
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    all is right with the world. Let us know the progress with the new nest.

    David

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #2171
    Love my blues!
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    Sure hope it goes well, Craig! I’m sure you’ll be putting up that wren guard after the 1st egg. Best of luck!

    Nicole

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