June 3, 2022 at 8:17 am #25901
Well another year wasted. I thoight I did everything right. I had pole with a baffle abd a sparrow spooker just after the eggs were laid. Just checked today after a week and the eggs are just gone. So much work excitement and anticipationfor nothing.June 3, 2022 at 8:37 am #25902Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Oh, Philly blues – that is just the pits! Have any idea what happened? If eggs were totally gone that means it was probably a climbing critter. Some can actually overcome a baffle somehow but I don’t know how. I have seen pictures of a snake crawling up and over a baffle. Do you have a fence or tree close enough that they could drop down or stretch over? My heart goes out to you, but DON’T YOU GIVE UP! We cannot overcome mother nature and things just happen.June 3, 2022 at 8:56 am #25903
Thanks Carol! Really is awful because this area is still just starting to see bluebirds so a loss has a big impact. I just don’t have any idea. Nothing looks disturbed. No trees above. In my experience at this spot once the nest fails they don’t come back. Lots of swallows to take the empty spot. I should have greased the pole I guess. It’s the exact aame setup as last year. Ugggh. All that for nothing.June 3, 2022 at 4:56 pm #25905stebetParticipant
So sorry to hear that :-(
This is my first year, and nothing has surprised me more than the emotional ups and downs. I just thought I’d be adding some “good,” and eliminating some “bad,” in my corner of the world. Wasn’t expecting the sadness, frustration, disappointment (and occasional joy!).
This experience has shown me a lot of things about myself that I want to change and grow from. Being more present, acting with care and love, doing things well even if it doesn’t appear to matter, abandoning outcomes, non-attachment, and reminding myself that God is in control and not me (thankfully!).
I hope your next BB tenants succeed…. :-)
(I was planning on the exact same setup as yours, and now I’m wondering what to do.)June 3, 2022 at 8:26 pm #25908David in Stafford,VAParticipant
There is not much more to say that what Carol and stebet have already said. Just remove the nest and clean up the box a bit and put it back for the next nesting. We will all hope for the best.
Stafford, VAJune 4, 2022 at 10:20 am #25913
It is a horrible feeling. You all capture it so well. Stebet, I was moved to see all you are trying to take from the experience. Phillyblues, keep going! If it were easy, everyone would have bluebirds in their garden.June 4, 2022 at 10:31 am #25915
I notice that in your earlier pictures, there are no feathers at the bottom and the eggs are laid right on the woven nest. I don’t usually see feathers in bluebird nests: do others? I’m trying to figure out when they were added. Also, they still look so neat–is that a surprise, if it was an animal raid? I’m only asking so we can try and analyze what happened. I find that’s the only way I recover from the sadness: what can I try NEXT TIME.
Personally, I prefer the cone-shaped baffle as it’s huge and hasn’t failed me.
Lastly, we’ve been experimenting this year with fishing line, which Julie on this forum coached me on. I found the lines don’t work well before the bluebirds attach, as in my experience (tho not for Julie) they deterred everybody. But once the bluebirds lay the eggs, I put them up *in addition* to the spooker, framing the hole. Julie can share pictures what the setup looks like: they have little washer rings at the ends to weight.
We also have ground trap for sparrows set up, but we have only caught one all season. Still, I like knowing it’s there!
Last year, in my own garden (versus the community garden, which I can’t watch as closely), I put a directed nozzle on my hose (capable of spraying 25 feet with the flick of a toggle) and I sprayed sparrows out of my trees whenever I heard or saw them.June 4, 2022 at 10:41 pm #25919JulieParticipant
Phillyblues, I’m so sorry to hear this update. I agree with David’s advice. Clean it up and get ready for what may happen next. It sounds like you’re trying to do a good work in that area. Fingers and toes crossed for you! It is disheartening. I know this well. Be encouraged in the fact that you’re so prepared for whenever the next time is. I know it’s not the same, but are the orioles still coming around? That was a big victory for you this year, I think you said.June 5, 2022 at 10:11 am #25923
Thanks! This box is in a small park a couple blocks from my house so I can’t see is all the time. My last photo before this was 4 eggs about a week ago. This park has a lot of tree swallows…so I think as soon as the bluebirds were gone the tree swallows started putting feathers in. So I am not sure if I should remove it if swallows are occupying now. The nest seemed completely undisturbed otherwise.June 5, 2022 at 10:32 am #25924
That makes a lot of sense, your theory about the tree swallows.
Once you see that a native pair is attached, I would try installing fishing line (ask Julie for photos, it’s easy and cheap.) That will allow you a little more peace of mind since you can’t be there all the time, watching.
And switch baffle type, since now whatever ate those eggs might want to return.
Don’t give up: heartbreak is part of the game, but so is indescribable joy!June 5, 2022 at 11:22 pm #25927
Any opinions on a box being in very long grass? I am wondering now if it being in 3 foot long grass has made it a target for snakes or critters? They used to mow a trail through the spot my boxes are on but now they are not mowing that middle trail so all the boxes are in a tall meadow. I started wondering if this is a bad thing or not and maybenthe cause of the predator issue.June 6, 2022 at 9:23 am #25929Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Philly Blues, yes you have hit the nail on the head – long grass is not ideal but on trails you may have no control. I know in yards you do not want tall grass – it is that much harder for birds to find bugs, etc. Long grass could definitely draw in critters.June 8, 2022 at 7:09 am #25942DanaParticipant
So sorry for your loss Phillyblues. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. Like Carol said tall grass is bad. Especially when it grows around nest boxes it will attract snakes. The tall grass enables them to hide and also to hunt for prey. Praying you have better luck next time.
DanaJune 8, 2022 at 3:07 pm #25951David in Stafford,VAParticipant
One idea. Carry a pair of scissors or possibly a small weed clipper with you on your walks through the park and clip the long grass growing around the base of the nestbox pole. Or just pull the grass out. No-one is going to criticize you for “prettying up” the trail.
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