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Well the neighbor to the left of us has an amazing pair of very determined Blues. They are on their 4th nesting. They started a 3rd brood in the lower box but it did not have a baffle and I believe either squirrels or raccoons got into it as the nest was totally disturbed and the eggs were at the bottom. So the pair left this box and went back to their original box and now have 3 eggs close to hatching. The neighbors across the street had 3 of 4 fledge (one died in the box perhaps from blow fly or rain – I was away unfortunately and didn’t get to monitor as closely). So the neighborhood has had 3 successful nestings with 10 out of 12 babies fledging and hopefully another 3 in 2 more weeks. So although I got skunked in my boxes this year (except for 7 DEES) – we will have added 13 new Blueys to the world’s population this summer!! I will count that as a big success!!!
TBH I found out completely by accident on the dried cranberries. I bought a bird seed at the local hardware store that has peanuts, black oil, sunflower chips and dried cranberries. I started to notice the Blues coming to the feeder and the only thing I could figure out they were eating was the cranberries! I know they are not seed eaters!
She is hiding them in deep bushes or trees for a while until they learn to forage for themselves. She will find plenty of food for them don’t worry. My guess is you won’t see her for a few days or even a week or so. I just saw my pair tonight on the wires in front of our house. My four fledged Monday. Daddy flew into the big maple tree across the way and I heard the babies screaming for their dinner!!
Keep in mind that the worms will die really quick in the heat. They will turn brown in about an hour and momma likes them fresh and alive so just enough for her to gobble up in a short time frame. It may appear she is eating them all but they take them in their mouth and “churn” them around a little to make them easier to feed to the babes.
Fantastic news!!! Now, don’t be surprised if she totally disappears for about 2 weeks. Typically they go into hiding with the babies in cover. Hopefully you will see her again soon! Great job on helping her. I’m not sure she would have made it without your help. The babies are demanding!!
Yep!! The little ones flew on Monday afternoon. 2 girls and 2 boys to go with big brother from the first clutch!!July 18, 2016 at 4:45 pm in reply to: Those sneaky, blasted wrens!! Been a hard season . . . #2684
I had a pair of HOWR that were attacked by a male HOSP. Took the house down and all 5 HOWR eggs were smashed and the mother killed on the nest. I trapped the HOSP next morning and executed him. The HOWR moved on thankfully. No more box on trees!
With all the heat should she be checking for blow fly larvae??
I have not opened the box for 2 days now. Mom and dad still busy feeding. Weather has been perfect for this clutch, very little rain and mid 80’s so not too hot. I just found out my neighbor has a pair in his box! He knows nothing about them so I have been monitoring his box as well. They are on about day 9 and doing well (5 in that box!) so hopefully soon there will be 9 little babies fluttering around the two yards! I expect mine to leave starting Sunday/Monday. I doubt I will get a third clutch this late in the season but I am thrilled with this year’s experience! Thanks all for the advise!!
Carol – yep!! I agree – that’s what I meant by “leave them be” – there was a rogue HOSP creeping around about an hour ago. I noticed mom and dad getting really irate – thought it was my Beagle who lumbers past the box occasionally (he normally has zero interest in the BB’s) but then noticed the male chasing a male HOSP. The HOSP landed in a near by tree. 30 seconds later he was in my sights with the pellet gun and let’s just say I took care of him!!!
After I posted this I lifted the nest gently yesterday with a small spatula. There were about 10 larvae that were under the nest so I removed them. The babes looked healthy although they were still…this morning I lifted the nest gently – no larvae – babes MUCH more active this morning. They are on Day 13. They look healthy – I’m providing copious amounts of fresh meal worms – so I think I need to just leave them be and hope for the best.
I think the eggs are no longer viable. Even if she didn’t start brooding until a couple days after laying. Could be an infertile male/female or the heat may have killed the eggs. My understanding is temps about 105/106 will spoil the eggs. I had the same issue with the first clutch, likely due to a cold spell for the first 2 eggs. They never did hatch and momma left them in the nest with the one fledgling (who I see every day now helping to feed the second clutch). It’s tough to face, but happens in nature all the time. You are just experiencing it first hand.
If it is really hot she won’t brood the eggs very much during the day. The eggs need to be 95 and above and they know when it is time. I found my second clutch momma to be off the nest more than on it. Does she fly by when you check it? You say it is on a trail so not sure how often you can check. Pretty much guaranteed very early morning she is on the nest. I doubt she abandoned – they are very committed ones eggs are laid. Do you have a Sparrow Spooker up? If not that is critical. If you know when the last egg was laid count 12-14 days beyond and that should be the first hatching. I find the female is much more visible during brooding of the eggs and the male is usually out at the club having a couple of drinks and eating like most men. He does show up when they hatch and is very active in feeding the babes!
Terrific news! Don’t be surprised if they “disappear” for a few days or even 2 weeks. Normally if they are going to have another clutch it is 2-3 weeks after to give the female chance to recover. No guarantees though BUT they will likely be back next year! Just be sure nothing else wants to nest in the box. I had a House Wren that get stuffing the first box with sticks. The Blues picked another box that now has 4 – 4 day old chicks! Congrats!! It’s such a thrill to help these beautiful songbirds isn’t it!!??
I have successfully lifted my nests with a small hamburger flipper and removed blowfly larvae. I do this every 3rd morning. Mom and Dad don’t like it but I am very careful and had success with no injury to the babes.