8 days/5 eggs no incubation

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      Hi there,

      This is my first bluebird nest and I am wondering if I need to do anything. On May 3, I discovered the first bluebird egg, and for the next 4 days I found one more egg each day. Since May 7, we have had the same 5 eggs. It’s been unseasonably cold, so I’m hoping this is the reason, but mama hasn’t started incubating the eggs yet and I’m a little worried. I’ve definitely seen the dad around, and I think the mama as well (I’m not great at identifying male/female yet…). It started warming up again yesterday (Mother’s Day, May 14). How long should I wait before I remove the eggs? Or is there something I can do to encourage them to proceed? I’m so excited about these babies! I have a chickadee nest about 15 feet away (the first box I put up) and they’re close to hatching. Was hoping I’d have bluebird babies as well.



        Females can be sneaky when it comes to incubating. She may be coming and going and you not notice. I would not do anything with the nest or eggs. It is way too soon and 3 days isn’t that long anyways. Have you put a sparrow spooker on the box? If not please do so as soon as you can.

        When the new wears off the old shines through

        When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.


          I haven’t, but I don’t see many sparrows. It has actually been 8 days since the last egg was laid. 3 days I wasn’t worried, but the more time passes, the more I start to wonder.


            Hi, Caroline! Not certain of your geography, but I am with Renee on this. Mama blues are incubating, despite our concerns, and regardless of whether or not we observe their comings and goings. I was in the same situation a few weeks ago. I was grumpy with mama because the five eggs had been laid, and her attentive periods seemed few and far between. Our weather has been rainy and cold, as well. Well on day #14, as planned, the five eggs hatched, and all is well. I would suggest that you get a sparrow spooker on ASAP, and I also believe in wren guards! These competitors are often present, even when we do not see or hear them. The downside risk of deploying both are minimized to near zero, once you monitor closely to verify that they are accepted by the parents. Keep the faith!!

            • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by nhhawk6.

            Bedford, New Hampshire


              I’ll add my voice here. Do nothing! For ID purposes, the male is bright blue and the female a little drab.

              Atlanta, GA


                Triple the above posts. I have never seen a HOSP but I put up a spooker and a wren guard after losing my first nest this year. Day 16 for second brood.

                Love my blues!


                  Getting closer! Glad you’ve gotten through day 16! Keeping my fingers crossed!


                  Wishing you the best of luck with bluebird eggs & chickadees!



                    Nicole….my lazy self missed their flight today!!! I am ashamed to say I slept until 10 after 8 looong days at work and they are safely up in the trees next door. I so wish I could do a count! I will post a picture of the skimpy nest on Houzz!!!


                      I put up fishing line with weights near the openings today. Both boxes seemed to have accepted that with ease. I read that was an effective HOSP deterrent (no loose threads to entangle anyone).

                      My chickadees started hatching yesterday. We have 3/5 hatched so far, and mama has been very tolerant of me checking in a few times a day.

                      Still no sign of the Blues in the nest. I see them nearby regularly, but I’m about 100 feet away in my kitchen and my sight isn’t what it used to be. I catch the flash of blue and know it’s Bluebirds, but can’t distinguish between the male and female because of the distance.

                      Has anyone had luck getting them to their feeders? I’ve put out live mealworms on a chair nearby and they’re disappearing, but I’m not 100% sure it’s the blues taking them. I’m trying to move it gradually closer to a feeder near my house so I can maintain them easier. But, I’d love to see them join in at my busy feeders with seed and fruit.

                      Carol – Mid-Mo.

                        Caroline, your worm feeder for the blues should not be close by the other seed & fruit feeders. Yes, every other bird will eat your worms, plus you are drawing too much commotion for your blues, if and when they are incubating. Once the blues find the worms they will love them. Just curious, has anyone mentioned to you about marking the eggs with a black dot and then check to see if the eggs are being rotated by the parents and thus viable? Just a thought . . .


                          Worm feeder and is strictly for worms so it should be pretty quiet for them. It’s on my deck away from my main feeders. I read on Sialis about training them to eat from the worm feeder, just haven’t managed to attract their attention yet, I don’t think. This whole process isn’t close to my main feeder.

                          Haven’t marked the eggs, but I’ve been photographing them regularly and they are indeed being rotated. The first few pics I took it was hard to tell if they were rotated, but now I’m definitely seeing it.

                          Carol – Mid-Mo.

                            That’s good that they are being rotated – you are just missing seeing her go in and out like the others said.

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