July 6, 2019 at 12:16 am #7544tamseaModerator
I was reading your post, Carol, about feeling bad about destroying house sparrow eggs.I have struggled with disposing of house sparrow eggs before but right now I have no such feelings. Before going on a 5 day trip I had 7 tree swallow eggs or newly hatched babies and two boxes of bluebird eggs, both with 4 babies or eggs. When we got home I saw a house sparrow going back and forth between two boxes and going in one so I checked and all my baby tree swallows were gone. I checked the other box and was horrified to see that all my baby bluebirds were gone also. My box out front had a house sparrow singing close by and dread filled me. Sure enough all those eggs gone too. 15 babies or eggs destroyed. All of those were supposed to hatch the week I was gone so I don’t know if they were eggs or babies at the time. No house sparrow eggs in those boxes yet but now I’m mad so it would be easy for me right now.
TammyJuly 6, 2019 at 10:03 am #7548Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Got you, Tammy! I always get the HOSP taken care of before eggs are laid. I have a really good plan for this and it works because I have several boxes. But this one time I was too late, but I knew what had to be done. I don’t blame you for being hacked off with all that destruction!July 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm #7549dogsandbirdsModerator
Oh honey. I know you are furious AND heart broken.
Atlanta, GAJuly 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm #7555blue diamondsParticipant
Tammy that is awful news. I know you do HOSP control, just wondering if this happen with sparrow spookers on the boxes? The HOSP around my area a terrified of the spookers. Could it have been a wren? Whatever it was…..still so sad and heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you.
Judy-MichiganJuly 6, 2019 at 9:16 pm #7558LisaParticipant
I am so sorry. Snakes, Howr, HOSP, they all make me furious. :(July 9, 2019 at 9:34 pm #7568David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Tammy – so sorry to hear this. I share your concern for the loss and the bad feelings toward the HOSP, HOWR, or anything else that cause harm to our bluebirds. I think that I like Carol” approach to this and have no trouble taking what ever measure eliminates the threat. I do not want to reduce the threat, I want to eliminate it. Sometimes that calls for extreme measures and like someone said in another thread, my aim has improved over time. In my over 12 years of bluebirds I have never had a HOSP nest in any of my boxes – no eggs means no HOSP. I did have a HOWR nest in a box in my front yard one year – but they never bothered the back yard blues.
Have the Bluebirds returned for another try? Here’s to much success in the future.
Stafford, VAJuly 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm #7569phillybluesParticipant
I lost my baby swallows this spring. No idea what did it. No real nest disturbance and missing mom and dad. I gueas I’ll never know. First I thoight snake, then maybe wren or HOSP, but the HOSP generally stay off of my property after many years of trapping and bb gunning.July 13, 2019 at 9:46 pm #7585tamseaModerator
Thanks everyone!!!! I’ve not had HOSP problems for several years now so I got lax in putting up a spooker. And I have 8 boxes on my property and 14 on the trail. Too many to put spookers on but I think I need to start using them again at home.
TammyJuly 14, 2019 at 3:14 pm #7592Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Tammy, do you make your own spookers? Yes, it would be hard to put them on your trail but they are very inexpensive to make – could at least them protect them on your own property.
My mama blue just laid her first egg in Box #3 – I put up the wren guard a few minutes ago and will put up the spooker tomorrow. I have a wren trying to build in one of my boxes, so I know they are here – I keep it busy putting in new sticks so it leaves the BB box alone This will be one of the latest nests I have ever had I believe. I saw one of the new fledglings from box #2 just this morning – only been 8 days out of the nest for them, plus some of the group from box #1 are still around – my new shipment of 10,000 worms will not last very long at this rate!July 14, 2019 at 8:57 pm #7595SassyParticipant
Oh Tammy, this is so heartbreaking to read. I truly am sorry you had to go through this experience on such a large scale. I hope the TRES and the BB’s return for another try and you are able to eliminate that nasty predator.
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