Female die eggs in nest new Female & Male in area

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    This past Saturday I witnessed two females fighting with one male flying around them. There is a nest box in the area with eggs in it. I have never seen this before – they ended up on the ground a lot wrestling. A few hours later I decided to check the next box. It opens from the front and I could immediately see feathers sticking out of the nest. I tilted the nest a bit with a stick and there was a dead or dying bluebird on the eggs. The bird never moved. I closed the house back up. There are at least 4 to 5 eggs. A few hours later I noticed a male and female on the box. I went over and checked and confirmed the dead bird was still inside. I decided to remove it and leave the eggs. The male and female were at the box again and were going in and out all evening. Sunday I only saw the male. I checked the box again and it looks like someone began to build a nest on top of the eggs. Now its Monday and home from work. Have not seen either male or female in 2 hours. I checked the box again and no new nesting material has been added since yesterday. Should I remove the eggs? Remove eggs and nest? The bluebirds have been successfully nesting in a box at this site for all 20 years we have lived here! I would hate for this to be the end :-( Thank you!

    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    I’ll let the “experts” here address this touchy issue. I’m not sure what to do.

    David in Stafford,VA
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    You should remove the old nest and the eggs. The new female is building her own nest and the old eggs will not survive. It is tough to see this happen but nature has a way of doing what is best for the species. The new female will lay her own eggs when she completes the nest. You need to dispose of the ole nest and eggs far away from the nestbox. A garbage can is safe.

    Good luck with the new pair.

    Stafford, VA

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    Thank you! I appreciate your insight. I thought that was probably the best thing to do as well. I saw the male alone on the house a little while ago, so at least he has not left the area. I will clean the box out tomorrow. Thank you!

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    The reason to remove an old nest and eggs is the danger of the new female building a nest that is too close to the entrance.

    I am sorry this happened to you. There is either a shortage of males or a shortage of territories.

    Atlanta, GA

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