May 13, 2016 at 8:50 pm #1878
I’ve been fortunate to attract bluebirds to my property for the last ten years running. I have three nest boxes and each year the pair raised two clutches (one year they raised three!)
This year they’re back in Ct and have selected box #3, laid five eggs and a few days ago they hatched. Everything was going swimmingly until two days ago when Mom and Dad disappeared. I checked last night and the babies were ravished. Tonight they were all dead.
What could cause the pair to suddenly abandon the nest and their young?
I am feeling helpless.
Maybe nasty House Wrens hurt the young?
Thank youMay 13, 2016 at 10:05 pm #1879Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
This is heart-breaking & very perplexing. Were there any marks on the babies? It would be very unlikely that both parents would just disappear & abandon the babies for no reason. Is it possible that someone did some spraying in your area & maybe the babies got a dose & they died from that? Maybe the parents knew there was something wrong with them. I do know that something similar happened to be 9 years ago, when one day the 5 babies were perfectly okay, & the next day they were all dead. Parents did not abandon them, but only logical thing we could come up here is insect/herbicide spraying. There were no marks on my babies. I could understand 1 or 2 dying but when all perish, it is hard to figure it out. So sorry. Someone else – chime in here.May 14, 2016 at 8:07 am #1881
I am not aware of any pesticide spraying but neighbors are using weed & feed on their lawns. There are a few aggressive House Wrens making noise and filling up the two remaining boxes with twigs and nesting material. I just cleaned them out this morning, again…and left the box fronts open to encourage the Wrens to leave.
Also saw the bluebirds feeding on a neighbors lawn this morning so they have not left the area entirely. Maybe I will wash out the three houses and perhaps move the one that had the babies.
May 14, 2016 at 11:49 am #1883dogsandbirdsModerator
- This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by Craig Mitchell.
Were there visible injuries on these chicks? It’s unusual for a HOWR to leave them in the box. Most of the time they toss them out. If their bellies were bloated you can’t go by that as an indicator of poison. In death, they will bloat. Quite often cause of death remains a mystery.
Good idea to empty the boxes and leave them open. That might help with the HOWR but since they have established a territory they’ll probably stick around for another battle with you. So sorry! I deal with them all the time.
Atlanta, GAMay 16, 2016 at 4:21 am #1911Love my blues!Participant
Oh Craig. My heart goes out to you & the parents. Just awful!
NicoleMay 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm #1924tamseaModerator
So sorry. We’ve all been there.
TammyMay 28, 2016 at 9:28 am #2124
Update May 28. Well, after several weeks of removing House Wren nests and boxes of twigs the wrens moved on. They’re not far away though as they now occupy two boxes on the property next door where the elderly man who lives there never cleans his out. Good riddance.
My bluebirds returned and after a weeks or so of popping in and out of the three empty nest boxes seemed to have settled on a favorite. Two were empty this morning but the one closest to my home had a nest in it this morning. Fingers crossed.May 28, 2016 at 10:20 pm #2131David in Stafford,VAParticipant
all is right with the world. Let us know the progress with the new nest.
Stafford, VAJune 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm #2171Love my blues!Participant
Sure hope it goes well, Craig! I’m sure you’ll be putting up that wren guard after the 1st egg. Best of luck!
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