A bluebird pair has started a nest in our box close to the house. The female has an injured (or some problem) with her leg. When she sits on a nearby bar, the leg just dangles; she has difficulty getting in the box– when she lands at the opening, she has to sort of propel herself in with lots of wing-flapping. She is taking bunches of grass into the box regularly over the last 2 days. I have put a feeder with dried mealworms close by, and she comes to it frequently. I am wondering if putting a perch on the box would help her get in the box easier, or is it better to just leave everything alone?
On a second topic– had a nesting in a distant box. 5 eggs, and viewed regular activity. Then, I noticed no activity. It has been 2 weeks– the eggs are still all there and intact, but have not seen and birds visit. Best course of action?
Sue, no perches on nest boxes – this makes it too easy for predators or other bird species. If the female is getting around well enough to take care of her nest, then I wouldn’t do anything at this point. If she weren’t already nesting I might suggest calling a rehabber, but this could just be an old injury or even a congenital defect.
On the distant box nesting, I’d leave it be for now. You can be watchful, but unless you can watch every second, you can’t be certain that the nest has been abandoned. Do you know when the last egg was laid? Can you feel the eggs to see if they are warm? Can you place a piece of grass across the nestbox opening in such a way that the bird will have to dislodge it if they go into the box?