5 Eggs and none have hatched – about 22 days of brooding

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  • #4065
    JfromReston
    Participant

      I have a bluebird box for the first time. I would like to know if the eggs have gone too long and I should removed them from the box. After seeing mating activity for several days, I started monitoring the box on April 6 – there were 3 eggs. On April 10 there were 5 eggs. I’ve seen the female in the box for at least some portion of each day since. The male has a favorite branch to hang out on just outside my office window and I see him every day. There are still 5 eggs and none have hatched. Today would be about 22 days of brooding. I’m in Northern Virginia and the weather has not been the best and we have had some very cold nights. How long should I let this go before removing the eggs and nest and hope my pair will make another attempt?

      #4066
      dogsandbirds
      Moderator

        The kindest thing to do is absolutely nothing until they lose interest. Pretty soon they will know if the eggs are viable or not.

        When they stop tending the eggs is the time for you to remove them and the nest. I know it’s hard to wait but it is the best thing for them. Imagine if you were taking care of those eggs and then they vanished. Please wait.

        Gin
        Atlanta, GA

        #4068
        JfromReston
        Participant

          Thanks much for the quick response.
          I will wait until they loose interest.
          J

          • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by JfromReston.
          • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by JfromReston.
          #4085

          A normal hatch would be 14 days from the last egg laid or 14 days from when the female starts incubating. I agree with Gin that you see if she might have started incubating later. April was a strange month here in Virginia and maybe your eggs will still be viable. Good luck

          David

          David
          Stafford, VA

          #4086
          JfromReston
          Participant

            On checking the box this morning. One egg is missing and one egg has a pip. I saw the female a few hours ago, but she isn’t around now.

            • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by JfromReston.
            #4088
            JfromReston
            Participant

              Just chased a Carolina Wren away from the house. It took the egg with the pip.

              #4099
              dogsandbirds
              Moderator

                What? A CAWR? Are you sure? Maybe a house wren? They look a tiny bit alike.

                Gin
                Atlanta, GA

                #4100
                JfromReston
                Participant

                  I’m a novice birder, so I probably misidentified the wren. First thing this morning there were still three eggs, but no sign of either parent. By early afternoon there were no eggs left. I removed the nest.

                  #4101

                  Definitely sounds like a wren- probably a house wren. The only thing you can do if you want to keep that wren out is to clear the nest and leave the box open for a few days. If you see your bluebirds again, close the box and watch for activity.

                  David
                  Stafford, VA

                  #4102
                  Lisa
                  Participant

                    Mine nested successfully after a probable wren attack. I used a half shoebox to make a wren guard and it worked so far. Today they are 7 days so it’s coming off.

                    #4103
                    dogsandbirds
                    Moderator

                      Lisa, you used the shoebox idea? Cool! That hit me one day when I looked at a guard I made and I thought duh. Why not just cut out one long side of a shoebox? You could spray paint it and make it last longer.

                      J, I really don’t like HOWR. Even their “song” annoys me. They tried to start in all of my boxes a week ago. The holes are now all blocked. I block them instead of leaving them open so they don’t get wet inside.

                      Gin
                      Atlanta, GA

                      #4107
                      tamsea
                      Moderator

                        I love the shoebox method!!!

                        Tammy

                        #4130
                        JfromReston
                        Participant

                          Thanks for all your advice. Looks like a wren guard is what I need. I cleaned the nest out. Before I got the advice to block the hole or open the box, I have a new male hanging out at the nest (but no female yet). I haven’t seen the old male or female in a few days.

                          • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by JfromReston.
                          #4133
                          Brad
                          Participant

                            I found a cereal box to be the right size and very easy to make a wren guard with. Good luck!

                            #4145
                            Lisa
                            Participant

                              The shoebox worked great and took 10 seconds LOL.

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