New nest – no eggs yet – what is typical daily behavior at this stage?

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  • #3595
    WildBlueYonder
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    Hello to All,

    After a year of waiting, the box I put up last year now has a pair of bluebirds building a nest. I do not know what to expect as far as typical behavior at this stage of the process. Today is “Day 7” from the first time I saw nesting materials in the box. The nest looks to be quite complete – BUT I am wondering what the chances are that I will see eggs.

    My pair is very active in the morning hours – they are bustling in and out of the box pretty much constantly with lots of singing and calling back and forth between them. Then from about noon and later into the day, they come and go anywhere from an hour to 3 hours or so apart – as if to do a brief “check in”. The final visit of the day seems to be by 7 pm or so. Although both go in and out of the box, the male seems to be at the entry more frequently than the female. When she enters the box he will often follow her in and I hear rapid high pitched excited chirping sounds.

    I am wondering if they have other nests elsewhere and they are just “making the rounds” of their territory. I am trying very hard to step back inside if they are in the trees nearby because I do not want to scare them off. They are also eating off and on from my feeder (dried mealworms) – the female eats more frequently than the male. Earlier today I saw him bring a big insect/worm of some sort into the box where she already was.

    When I checked this evening – still no eggs.

    Does this daily pattern sound pretty typical? Is there a reasonable timeframe that I can perhaps use as a reference in regard to whether my nest is “the one” or not?

    Thank you in advance to any responses this may get.

    #3597
    Lisa
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    Totally normal! They live to drive us nuts! Mine took FOREVER to lay eggs this year!

    #3599
    Love my blues!
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    They do sometimes build more than one nest, but it seems to me they’re interested in settling down in your box. You never know, but I think you’ll see an egg any day now.

    Nicole

    #3604
    DanaDana
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    Lisa wrote: “Totally normal! They live to drive us nuts!…”

    I couldn’t agree with you more Lisa! lol

    #3605
    dlibby
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    I’ve had a lot of luck watching my bbs and noticed when they get the nest done they kick back a little and go into mating ritual for a bit. Neat thing I got to see was when the male started singing up on the telephone lines and then swooped down onto the females back and then flew way up in the sky and over the mountain top singing really loud as if he scored. It was amazing to see and was so glad I was out there to witness that. within in days the eggs were coming. should be anyday for you now.

    #3607
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Pretty much normal – 2 or 3 years in a row my blues built at LEAST 2 and one year 3 complete nests in my backyard boxes (I have 4) before deciding on one to lay the eggs. This year they did just build one. It is perfectly normal after building for them to wait a several days before laying eggs – their instincts tell them when it is the right time. We (including myself) need to remember these are wild birds and not to try to micromanage them too much, but we do need to try to protect them with predator controls since we have invited them into our yards with the boxes. Other than that, let them decide when & where to do their thing!

    #3620
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    It is normal for them to take longer for them to lay the first clutch of the season. They seem to speed up the next one or two.

    Tammy

    #3640
    Lisa
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    Dana, isn’t it the truth???? LOL!

    #3647
    WildBlueYonder
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    Thank you for the responses. Time to wait and see what happens. I just hope they decide to stay here.

    I am watching them checking the box as I type. Wish I did not have to go to work. I am happy to watch them all day long.

    The male seems to like being in charge of the box. He goes in and I can hear him fussing about. Sometimes she tries to go in too but cannot get in with him and flutters back onto the roof. He flew out and she finally went in for 2 to 3 minutes.

    It is a slotted box by the way. At the very least, I am really happy they spend time here at all. It is a start, if for some reason they lay eggs elsewhere. For what it is worth, I am in western NY and temperatures are still quite variable and definitely on the cold side.

    Are most of you with eggs south of me?

    (sorry for any typos…I am on the phone and it is harder to type).

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by WildBlueYonder. Reason: typo
    #3660
    Lisa
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    I am way south and on round two. I feel very sure you will have eggs soon. Mine literally toyed with me just like yours for almost a month. They just know when it’s time!

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