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She seems to lay anywhere between 10:30 to Noon. That is how she was with the first brood as well. To be safe I don’t check until about 2 pm. I checked once on the first brood and spooked her off the nest around 10:30 AM! I hear they can drop an egg out of the box if they get scared. Any other pair I have had nesting always laid really early in the AM. They have been bringing the Juvey’s to the mealworm feeder! That is fun!
1st egg laid late this morning. She is following her usual pattern of laying later in the day. Put the Spooker up while Dad literally sat on the fence not 5 feet from me! SO much for Social Distancing!! LOL!!June 5, 2020 at 5:29 pm in reply to: New to feeding live mealworms…instructions needed. #8312
I ordered my latest (3,000) from Grubco as noted here. Normally I use Exotic Nutrition. Grubco ones seemed a little bigger, fatter and livelier! I will definitely be ordering from Grubco moving forward.May 28, 2020 at 8:47 pm in reply to: New to feeding live mealworms…instructions needed. #8279
There is a big shortage on meal worms right now. The best place to get them on line is Exotic Nutrition. They are the least expensive, great shipping charges and good quality worms. They are limiting purchases to 3,000 per week right now. I actually have the breeding kit and am starting to breed my own meal worms for year round feeding. I find a small blue open cup with a hanger (I got it at WBU) works the best but I have also used a small shallow Rubbermaid container on the deck that they come to all the time. I do exactly what Carol does. Feed them in first thing in the AM and a little closer to dusk. I usually put 50-60 out for 2 adults and 4/5 chicks. My pair knows exactly when they are going to get fed because they show up like clockwork!! I find Momma is better at collecting a lot in her bill and taking them straight to babies. Dad seems to Scooby snak about 5 or 6 first then he carries some off. I have also put bugs we catch in the house, like Daddy Longlegs in there. I pluck a wing off so they can’t fly off but they are still very much alive and the EABL’s love those!! I am convinced that feeding the meal worms during the cold snap saved my brood this year. I actually doubled the amount during that time. I also provided crushed up eggshells for the calcium and they do eat these as well.
I use an open type plastic container on the porch rail. A really simple little thing from the Dollar store!! If I put it in the cup feeder on the tree the Orioles eat them. On the porch rail only the Bluebird and the occasional Titmouse or Nuthatch will pop by but usually after the Blues have had their fill.
I have only seen them leave the box a couple of times. One time there was a Male fledgling in the little hedge near the box and he scared the crap out of me! I was looking in the box and saw they had all left. I turned around and he squeaked at me right at eye level in the bush! LOL. 2 seconds later Dad came diving in at me and letting me have it! Last year two of the first brood kept returning with the pair and actually helped a little with feeding!
So I made the insulator for the nest box. I have another Troyer slot box that is not being used so I used that as my model. I cut 1/2″ styrofoam and glued it to cardboard to make two sides and a back. I used Gorilla Tape to secure the seems. I went to slide it over the box the EABL’s are nesting in and it fits perfectly except I need to cut more where the Sparrow Spooker bracket is attached at the back so it will slide all the way in. I couldn’t do too much fiddling because it’s only 40 degrees today and she was off the nest. Momma was on the branch above me when I was putting it on. She flew away but returned withing 5 minutes and straight into the box!! I did not cover the roof or front because I think that may have spooked her too much. I order those portable thermal blankets from Amazon and they arrive tomorrow so the plan is to glue that around the cardboard for extra insulation. Again I will test it during the day tomorrow. It is really only supposed to be cold on Friday and Friday night so if I slip it on first thing Friday until mid Saturday I am hoping the added warmth will allow for viable eggs. Who knows, maybe I should Patent this!! LOL!!
We live in Western PA just North of Pittsburgh. I think I am putting and insulating shell around the box. I will see if she accepts it tomorrow as it is supposed to be in the low 50’s. I know we have to let nature run it’s course, but it’s rough!
I am freaking out!!! It is going to be 38 degrees on Thursday night and 28 degrees on Friday night! I really don’t know what to do. I have a slot box that points away from the wind so hopefully Momma will huddle down and keep the eggs warm. They are due to hatch in 6 days but I am really concerned about the viability if the eggs get too cold. I guess this is the time you just have to sweat it out as a EABL Landlord and hope and pray for the best! I was thinking of putting a step ladder behind the box and a space heater to blow toward the box but that may be an exercise in futility.
Looks like 4 is the number. Momma is in and out of the box all day today likely starting to brood. On another note my new slot box in the very back of my yard is being scouted by a different pair of EABL’s!! If I get two with nests at about the same time that will be a first for me. I have had the same pair (assume so) switch back and forth with second nestings but never two pairs at the same time. My boxes are about 100 feet apart. Keeping my fingers crossed!!
Egg #3 today! It was cold and rainy this morning. I went to check at 9:15 making my usual gently clicking sound with my fingers. To my surprise Susie was in the box when I opened it and flew off! I felt bad! However, literally 10 seconds after I closed the box and slinked away, she flew back in. I waited until Noon to check for egg #3. I have never had a female lay so late in the morning. In all the broods I have had over the past 6 years there is an egg by 8 AM. She must be a late riser!! LOL!! Also of interest is Mom and Dad are regular visitors to my fly thru feeder. I use a blend of seed called Farm Fresh Harvest that has chopped cranberries which I suspect they are eating. I also have a Bluebird suet that they regularly feed from as well. I will be buying some live meal worms soon to supplement their diet and help with the fledglings when the time comes. I usually ration about 30 a day for the adults and about 50 day when the babies hatch.
These two are nerve racking!! This morning I checked the box at 8:25. Still only one egg. I was afraid the Spooker had scared them off, although I had seen them all day yesterday. I watched the box and the female went in for about 5 minutes at 8:45. After she came out the pair flew off so I checked the box. Still only one egg. Hmmmmmm….
I grabbed a coffee and went back to the window to watch. Billy was sitting on the fence in front of the box and ominously a male HOSP was lingering around. Billy seemed to be nervous flying between the trees, the neighbors yard and the fence. No sign of Susie but I assumed she was in the box. 20 minutes later she emerged. Billy flew to the box and peeked in and they flew to the back of the yard together. I checked the box – it was 9:25 AM. Low and behold another shiny blue egg for a total of 2 now. Bluebirding is not for the feint of heart!!
This happened to me three years ago with my backyard Gilbertson. I believe the female was killed either by predation, a car or the bad storm we had the day before. I left the nest in the box. The male began singing for his mate that day on the electrical wires at the back of our property. This went on for two days. Then he moved to the row of trees on the other side of the street and began his trilling call for what I assume was a new mate. About 8 days later a new female showed up, continued the nest building and hatched a successful brood of 4!! So I would say let it play out over the next few days!! Nature truly is amazing and resourceful.
Thanks Carol! You won’t believe it but within an hour I caught another Male HOSP! TODAY my Blues moved into the Gilbertson. They were back and forth between the slot box and Gilbertson but for the past 3 hours they have been in and out of the Gilbertson. I’m hopeful they will build.
This happened to my neighbor on second brood. She was hit by a car after laying one egg. We waited a week but no luck. I think the pair I got shortly after that were like the Male with a new Mrs.!!