Unhatched egg mysteries

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  • #5769
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    • Topics started 23
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    In past years it was unusual to see unhatched eggs. This year our new Mama had one in both the spring and summer clutches. There were 6 eggs in her first clutch, one of which did not hatch. In the summer clutch there were only 3 eggs and again one did not hatch. I’m puzzled why. Is this a beginning Mama who has not figured out how to get them all fertilized? Or what?

    I’ve learned this mama needs no help removing the egg. Today I checked the nest (only two days since the first two hatched) and the extra egg was gone. So now I also wonder how she discards it. Wouldn’t breaking it mess up the nest? Can she actually carry it whole? I saw no sign of it in or out of the nest. I am mystified.

    • This topic was modified 4 years ago by MaybelleMaybelle.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5771
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
    Participant
    • Topics started 15
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    I currently have an unhatched egg in my nest box (1 of a 3-egg clutch, 2nd nesting of the season). Mama and papa have shown no interest in removing it, and I have decided to leave it alone. The two nestlings are 9-days old. Spring clutch was 5/5/5 (eggs/hatched/fledged).

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #5772
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    Cari, as with any species things happen. Could be there was something wrong with the embryos both times. Fertilizing them could be an issue if the male has problems. Sometimes it’s the health of both/either of them. Most of the time we just don’t know. One thing I do know is she does know how to get them fertilized.

    I have seen females bury eggs where you can’t see them but they do sometimes remove them. Obviously they don’t make a mess when that happens.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #5826
    MaybelleMaybelle
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    Our female who usually laid at least 6 eggs (once it was 7) in her spring clutch, in 2014 was in the process with a total of 4 already deposited. Then tragedy in the form of a HOSP attack destroyed all four eggs and messed up the nest. Noting the parents looking in but now entering, I discarded the broken eggs & nest.
    About 2 weeks later our plucky little female laid her first egg in the replacement nest she built.

    Into this second nest she laid 6 eggs. But ONLY 2 HATCHED. Following the guideline I found in http://www.sialis.org/ , I ended up removing the four eggs and upon examination, they appeared to be unfertilized.

    I was always intrigued by the fact that 2 eggs would have completed her first clutch of 6 that was destroyed. So it left me wondering if she was programed for 6 fertile eggs and no more.

    There is so much we do not know.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5828
    Lisa
    Participant
    • Topics started 21
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    Mine seem to do the same. It’s as if they have a preset number that will hatch and if something goes wrong they will try to make up for it. Mine lost their first nest and I feel like that’s why they are going for an insanely late 4th try here.

    #5838
    MaybelleMaybelle
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    Big surprise. Went to give the nest a one-week “well nestling” checkup and discovered the egg is still there! They must have been playing hide & seek with it on Sunday. So now I must decide about removing it myself. The nestlings hatched one week ago, so maybe I should?

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5839
    Lisa
    Participant
    • Topics started 21
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    I just leave mine. Never had harm come from it!

    #5851
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    • Total Posts 660

    No need to remove the egg. I wouldn’t anyway.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

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