April 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm #6274
Been dealing with some aggressive HOSP this weekend. This morning, found male BB dead in box HOSP had been battling for. I didn’t have Van Ert trap when this started, it came yesterday, that HOSP male has now lured 2 more HOSP into the DRST. So I’m dealing with the HOSP issue. Meanwhile, the BB have made a nest in another box in the yard. Male BB had been guarding this 2nd box against interlopers. (And yes, the boxes are sufficiently spaced–large yard.) My question is this: There is a nest in the 1st box. No sign of female BB for 2 days. What do I do? Leave the nest? Will she return with a new mate? Or are things pretty much paired up now among the BBs for the season? I’m in central PA. Thanks for any clues. A sad day.April 29, 2018 at 1:56 pm #6275
Ooops, should have dug into the internet more–just found my answer at this link:
Sorry to add an unnecessary post. Happy birding!April 29, 2018 at 7:27 pm #6281tamseaModerator
I know you found your answer but I’ll give my two cents worth anyway. So it’s a new male in nestbox 2? Because the other male was dead in Nestbox 1. No eggs obviously. If the female isn’t around then I’d say your safe to remove it. You may want to keep it for an extra nest, in case you need it down the road.
TammyApril 29, 2018 at 11:58 pm #6290BrendaVParticipant
I always err on the side of caution and would leave it.
If it has not been used there is no harm in leaving it (no parasites) as I have seen a study that showed some blues preferred to ‘renovate’ a nest rather than build a new one. And if there is a second box available then they have the choice to build a new nest if they so wish. You never know, maybe the female will use the old nest with the new male? Who knows. Anyhow, thats just me, always worried I interfere to much sometimes. ;P But even if you do remove it they can rebuild a new nest in a short time.April 30, 2018 at 11:41 am #6294tamseaModerator
I know, I’ve heard people say that blues like to use old nests, but I find that if there is any resemblance of a nest in my boxes on my trail or at home…no bird will start a nest in it. House Sparrows are the exception; but tree swallows and bluebirds avoid that box with the start of nest like the plague. Have you had different experience, Brenda?
TammyMay 3, 2018 at 7:08 pm #6315BrendaVParticipant
Sorry slow..have been trying to get outside while the weather was nice…
My blues will usually chose a empty/cleaned house but once and a while they will take one with another nest in it (usually the TRES, displacing them), so 80% of the time my experience is they do like the cleaned box, so they don’t seem to “prefer” a box with existing nest. But I found the idea/study interesting and wondered if my actions of cleaning the boxes all the time affected them…if only I had enough boxes (and bluebirds) to test it out myself. ;PMay 3, 2018 at 8:38 pm #6316David in Stafford,VAParticipant
I have had a HOWR start build over a bluebird nest where they destroyed the eggs. Happened only once. took the box down to clean out the messy eggs but they never came back. Probably should have left the nestbox alone until they had their young.
Stafford, VAMay 4, 2018 at 8:15 am #6317
Thank you for all of this excellent input, everyone. I really appreciate it. I did leave the nest just b/c the week has been a busy one. A male bluebird (perhaps of the original pair that built it in early April??) showed up at dusk that night of the kill. He swooped in and landed on the elderberry and checked things out…then left. The next day, TRES showed up and claimed the 2nd box that had had the dead bb in it. Blues have returned to the box with the nest. They’re trying to oust the TRES from the 2nd box, but so far the TRES aren’t budging. Last year TRES built a nest and THEN the blues booted them. That’s why I put up the 2nd house to begin with.
I am going to double-check my house spacing again later today. I would like to have both nesting here, if possible. We’re not far from a river, so there are more than enough bugs for all!! One side note, the blues are carrying off some of the nest that had been built, and they’re returning with new material. So maybe they didn’t build it, after all. Thanks again for input. I learn from each thing that’s shared.
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