June 29, 2022 at 9:50 am #26661Rich KParticipant
Well the saga of the Single Momma has taken a very dark turn. Yesterday morning I went to check on the box and saw a Male HOSP sticking his head out. Sure enough he had attacked the babies. One was dead, the others had visible injuries. I literally tried to get him all day with a pellet gun with no luck. He was harassing the female and tried to get in again. Last night when I checked 3 babies were still alive. This morning only one is alive and was out of the box. I have a feeling the Male HOSP pulled him out because he is definitely not ready to fledge. He is pretty beaten up and missing wing feathers. Both the Male and Female HOSP were harassing him out of the box. I have never ever had issues with HOSP’s before and always use a Spooker. I have a feeling that without the original Male (the other Male EASB is hanging around but showing no interest in anything other than waiting to mate with the female) the HOSP’s are taking advantage.
I’m at a loss here as to what to do. I am sure this baby is not going to make it no matter what happens. Should I euthanize it or let nature take it’s course? My plan will be to get the spooker down ASAP and use the Van Ert to trap the HOSP and of course eliminate him. Anyone experience this? This season is turning out to be a nightmare. :(June 29, 2022 at 11:01 am #26662tamseaModerator
So sorry. Been there. Watched a HOSP remove 4 babies from a nestbox multiple times.
It’s a dilemma. Because if you remove the baby to trap the house. Sparrow the parent might lose interest. If you have an extra box put it up close by and put a Van Ert trap in it. I put mine on a nail that’s on my fence post that’s nearby.
For now, I think I would bring in the baby, keep it warm and feed it half of a mealworm at a time.(crush the head first) . Call a rehabber.
TammyJune 29, 2022 at 4:36 pm #26667DaveParticipant
So sorry this is happening to you man. Nature can be so heartbreaking. Hope everything works out.June 29, 2022 at 5:22 pm #26668Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Oh, Rich, SO SO sorry about this matter – I have never had to witness anything like that – like Dave, says Mother Nature is cruel some times. Tammy’s mention about a rehabber is a very good idea (if you can find one close enough). Sure surprised that the spooker didn’t keep the HOSP away. That is very scary.June 30, 2022 at 8:11 am #26669Rich KParticipant
UPDATE: I’m letting nature take it’s course. The baby is definitely still around as Momma is feeding and calling. She’s had enough trauma so I’m hoping this baby makes it. He got through the night so that’s a good sign.
I put the Van Ert up yesterday with no luck. This morning I woke up and it had been triggered. I captured the male HOSP and, let’s just say he won’t be a problem anymore. I’m guessing this is the end of my EABL Season. I’m taking heart that this is the exception as I’ve had 8 incredible seasons at this house with over 85 birds fledged. My neighbors each have an active nest ongoing as well.June 30, 2022 at 10:47 am #26670David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Rich, it is good to hear that you got the HOSP but sad to hear of the other babies. Do you still have the single one with the mother bird. Nature can be cruel sometimes.
Stafford, VAJuly 1, 2022 at 9:07 am #26672David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Rich, it is not too late for another nest. just clean out the box and put it back. The birds might be back for end of season clutch.
Stafford, VAJuly 1, 2022 at 9:54 pm #26679JulieParticipant
Rich, this post was so timely for me! Yday a neighbor met me in the yard to tell me “one of my bluebirds” was dead in her yard. I went over, and it was a little tiny one, pin feathers just beginning to come out. I had checked all of my boxes the previous evening, so I knew I had no active nests and 4 babies in the trees nearby. We have no idea where that baby came from. Clearly ripped from a nest, but I don’t know where. I sort of figured it was taken by a house sparrow or some other bully bird. Then I read your horror story!!! So, so sorry that happened to you. What a nightmare. I have no love for house sparrows…
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