Incubation Question

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      When a female bluebird starts incubating the eggs, how long is she on the nest each day? Is it constantly – including overnight?

      Just wondering if there are behaviors or patterns I might see that would indicate that incubation is going on.

      Carol – Mid-Mo.

        She sits most of the time, taking a few outings per day, but she will sit on the nest all night. A lot depends on the weather, so during cooler days she will say on the nest longer. But she does take time out a few times per day. Incubation period is approximately 14 days. Papa blue will also feed her some times when she is incubating.


          Thank you for the reply. Two days ago I thought she was going to only have 3 eggs. As of today she is at 5. She has been spending a lot more time in the box. Dad usually watches from the nearby trees.

          I am very sure she spent the night in the box last night.

          Carol – Mid-Mo.

            She is incubating probably if she was on the nest all night. Congrats – hope hatching goes smooth.


            Normal time for incubation is 14 days from the date of the last egg. You are looking at a hatch around May 1. Could be Apr 30 but the May date is pretty good. Good luck.

            Stafford, VA


              Or 12. Mine hatch on day 12 or 13 depending on if I count from the day the last egg is laid or the next day. Officially it’s 12 – 14 days and there are some situations where it’s even been longer. Sometimes they postpone incubating a few days if the weather is too cold.

              • This reply was modified 7 years ago by tamsea.


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