I had started the threads “Should’t They Be Building By Now” and “Missing Mate.” So to update quickly. Mama lost her first mate. There were two eggs in the nest. Then the nest became messy. But since I couldn’t tell whether it was being rebuilt or disassembled by unknown parties, I left it alone. Eventually mama built a neat nest and found herself another mate. I don’t know what happened to the original two eggs. But she laid four eggs in this very tightly woven nest. The eggs hatched two days ago. Finally!!! I saw three of the eggs hatch for sure. I’m not certain about the fourth. Today when I opened the nest box I saw three open mouths. But the nest boxes are dark and I couldn’t tell whether there was a fourth baby in there. My question is: do I need to double check to make sure there isn’t a dead baby in there. Years ago I remember gently moving the babies around to check, but I worried about hurting them. Just curious about what most of you do when you check on your hatch-lings.
Thanks. (I’m also assuming that this late nesting means I probably won’t have a second nesting this year here in Western CT. Any thoughts on that as well?)
Timing varies with each pair of birds and each brood. Mine have ranged from 2 to 5 weeks between nests. The more time it takes for the second nesting to occur the less likely there will be a third nesting – unless another pair settle in right after the second brood fledges. And a lot depends on where you are located and how long your summer lasts.