Lost all eggs. What to do with nest?

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  • #1666
    Deb
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    • Topics started 8
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    It’s with sad news to report that as I went out today to check on our box, I found 3 of the 4 eggs broken on the ground at the base of the post. The holes are big so I’m guessing it was a racoon or opossum’s “handy work” responsible for this.
    I saw the male hanging out on top of the box with the spooker this morning too – was so hopeful…

    Should I leave the nest in the box on the off chance they’ll try to use it again in a few weeks?

    Devastated to say the least but that’s nature I suppose.

    #1667
    Donna in WI
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    • Topics started 6
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    Do you have a baffle on the pole, if not get one up asap. Having said that if it was a raccoon and there were eggs you wouldn’t have found them on the ground. Opossums do not get into nestboxes. Most likely a sparrow or a wren. I realize you said you had a spooker up but that isn’t fullproof.

    I myself would remove the nest and possibly turn the box a bit so they may try again. Typically they won’t renest where they have had a failure unless there are no other housing options available.

    Good luck

    Donna in WI

    #1669
    Deb
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    Thanks Donna. I think you’re right about it being a wren after watching the video on http://www.sialis.org/howrattack.htm but strangely enough I’ve not heard that little chatterbox nor have found any sticks in the vacant boxes we have.

    #1670
    Deb
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    Well they are looking now at the house in the front yard….hope…hope…hope.

    #1671
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    • Topics started 111
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    Deb, so sorry – this is truly a sad thing when the papa is still fluttering around when he knows something is wrong with his eggs. My papa bird did the exact thing about 8-9 days ago when he knew all 5 eggs were not viable – mama was wanting to go in to incubate and he was chasing her off the hole. Donna, I had not heard this about a pair not nesting in the same box where they had a failed nest. When I removed the bad eggs I did leave their beautiful nest in it because they had began another nest but were not finishing it. And they have been guarding both boxes like crazy. I am at a loss as what to do – the weather has turned off very cool here, and I keep thinking they are waiting on warmer weather, but May is almost here. P.S. I just looked in the 1st box where the 5 failed eggs were and noticed that the cup of the nest seemed to be lightly lined with something very fine, like feathers but not really – maybe like down. But I have only seen blues at this box. The 2nd nest in the Gilwood box had a nice cup at one time, but it seemed to be flattened as I mentioned in my other thread. Looks like a lot of us need a dose of good luck this year.

    #1672
    Deb
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    They’re looking at the box in the front yard although I now have the male looking at the old box as well. About 9 years ago we had a pair of HOSPs drive out our EABLs and that’s when I had Mr. Van Ert was kind enough to overnight me a trap on goodwill before I paid him. Once we were rid of those pests, the EABLs came back to the box and tidied up the pig sty left by the sparrows. I’ve heard of people microwaving nests after the fledglings go and place it back into the box to promote a second brood (I love EABLs but not sure I’m putting a bird’s nest into my microwave :).

    #1698
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    I’ve heard of people microwaving nests after the fledglings go and place it back into the box to promote a second brood (I love EABLs but not sure I’m putting a bird’s nest into my microwave :).

    Never. Never. Never would I do that. :Eeek2: And not so much because of the microwave.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1709
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    Deb- I thought I responded to this, but where I read that you microwave the nest is if you’re going to save it in case you ever need to do an emergency nest change. Some of the them are just too messy to save, but I did save one from last year that was relatively clean (in case I ever need to make a nest change).

    Nicole

    #1716
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    The most accepted practice is to save only a nest where nobody fledged. Eggs laid and abandoned? That’s fine. Nests in which chicks were raised are always contaminated in some way. It’s safer to trash those.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1722
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    It might be better to stick it in the freezer. That would kill any little bugs.
    I’ve had HOSP that took out each baby one by one several times…so it very well could be a HOSP.

    Tammy

    #1734
    David in Stafford,VA
    Participant
    • Topics started 57
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    It is best to just empty the box and dispose of the old nest after the young have fledged. Put the old nest in a trash can. Don’t trash it near the nest box. I usually take the nest box off the pole and clean it with soap & water. Let it dry for a couple of days and then return it to the pole. The birds usually revisit the box after a week or 2 away with their brood.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #1742
    The Original Bluebird Nut
    Admi-nut-strator
    • Topics started 25
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    Whether or not to discard the nest is a judgment call. If you’ve got wrens, have a wren guard at the ready to install the minute they lay another egg, whether in the same box, or a different one. You’ll have a battle on your hands.


    Central NY
    TMB Studios

    #1749
    David in Stafford,VA
    Participant
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    Cher – what do you use as a “wren-guard”?

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #1755
    The Original Bluebird Nut
    Admi-nut-strator
    • Topics started 25
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    It depends on the box and on how much time I have. I had this one, which someone made for me…

    wren guard

    But that type doesn’t work with the boxes I have now, which have a roof that is peaked in the middle. I just made one out of a cardboard box this past week when I thought I saw a wren looking at a box my Chickadees are nesting in. It’s a cobbled together thing, not very pretty, but it seems to be working so far. There’s a thread on the old BluebirdNutCafe forum – I’ve brought the most pertinent posts with photos over here and made them a sticky topic at the top of this forum. If you want to see the whole discussion you can see it here: How to Make a Wren Guard. It has quite a few ideas.


    Central NY
    TMB Studios

    #1768
    David in Stafford,VA
    Participant
    • Topics started 57
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    Thanks Cher. I haven’t seen any wrens or sparrows around the box so far this year but last year a wren got 9 eggs (2 layings). I am going to make one of these guards to have in case my next brood(s) need it. BTW, I think that the “sticky” post was very informative.

    David
    Stafford, VA

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