June 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm #2364
Hi, I’m new here and need some help with a question I have.
I looked in one of my Petersons nest boxes and found 5 light blue eggs, plus one dingy spotted eggs.
What could the spotted egg be?
Thanks, RonJune 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm #2365
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by David in Stafford,VA. Reason: add image
Stafford, VAJune 14, 2016 at 10:28 pm #2369
Yes, there it is; second from left.
Will another bird lay eggs in the nest?June 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm #2370Bobs FarmParticipant
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Knowing your area would help quite a bit, but it resembles the parasitic brown headed cowbird that will lay eggs in other birds nests (host). The bird will actually hatch and be raised by the parents of the blue eggs. I would suggest removing it. I’d get the suggestion of a second though.
June 15, 2016 at 8:04 am #2374The Original Bluebird NutAdmi-nut-strator
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Bobs Farm.
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The baby cowbird will grow faster than the bluebird babies, and demand more of the food the parents bring, thereby putting the bluebird babies’ lives at risk. It may be technically illegal in your state to remove a cowbird egg from a nest, since the cowbird is a native species. That being said, I’ve heard of some people taking the egg out to examine it, and having it be so slippery it just falls out of their hands.
TMB StudiosJune 15, 2016 at 9:34 am #2375
I did notice the slippery surface. LOL
I’m located in eastern Pa.
While cleaning out a Purple Martin T-14 house that has House Sparrows plaguing it,
I saw speckled eggs similar to the one I’m asking about.
But the speckled egg among blues ones raised the question.
Possibly House Sparrows lay eggs in strange nests as Cow Birds do.June 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm #2376
Ron, that egg is listed in the caption of the photo as a house sparrow (HOSP) egg and should definitely be removed and properly disposed of (terrible grammar). Here is the lonk for the site if you would like further information. Hope this helps.
Stafford, VAJune 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm #2377
Now, after reading further through the identification of eggs information I found the following: “Note: A Cowbird egg looks similar to a House Sparrow egg, but House Sparrows take over the whole nest, and often remove another bird’s eggs from a nest they usurp. Cowbird eggs are larger than House Sparrow eggs, and tend to be more rounded.” Here is the photo from that article.
Stafford, VAJune 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm #2379tamseaModerator
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It’s very unusual for a cowbird to fit into a bluebird sized opening although we’ve seen it happen here a couple of times. My bet is that it’s a house sparrow egg.
TammyJune 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm #2386
Tammy, that’s what I think also. Not seeing what is actually in the nest, I would remove it just to be on the safe side. I would also continue to actively monitor this nestbox.
Stafford, VAJune 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #2387Rich KParticipant
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Do you have a sparrow spooker on the box? Cowbirds fit in Troyer boxes (slotted boxes) but it is unusual. They tend to pick on ground/low nesting birds like warblers, Song Sparrows etc. I’ve had an influx of Cowbirds this year – first time….I found an egg in a Chipping Sparrow nest. Unfortunately the egg “broke” as I was looking at it closely ;)June 15, 2016 at 8:29 pm #2390
Sparrow Spooker? Not sure what that is.
I have a trap arriving tomorrow to reduce the HOSP population.
They are swarming my T-14 house.
Thanks for all the help.June 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm #2391Rich KParticipant
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Please see about the sparrow spooker. It should be put after after the first egg is laid, but better late than neverJune 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm #2392BrendaVParticipant
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Sparrow spooker is a few bird scar tape streamers over the box to keep the house sparrows away, most blues accept them fine.
Edit: Whopes..too slow! :P
Used regularly on bluebird single box houses. Not sure Purple Martins would tolerate a spooker on a T-14.June 17, 2016 at 12:07 am #2402Love my blues!Participant
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You can purchase a sparrow spooker for $19.95 on the website Rich listed above. A lot of people make their own. You can google images of different homemade sparrow spookers, which should be easy/inexpensive to make. Since you would have to wait to get one shipped, you may just want to go buy some strips of Mylar & find a way to hang them where bottoms of streamers are all touching your box. If that was a house sparrow egg, I’m afraid your bluebirds may be headed for trouble if you don”t install one. No guarantees, but it”s the most effective tool outside of trapping.
Lastly, make sure your bluebird pair accepts it after installing. Hope it all works out!
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