May 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm #1888
Anyone ever see the Male not help feeding the baby birds? I have had over 10 years of nests, and this is the first time I have seen the male not help feed the young ones. He is always around, but never helps with the feeding. Very strange.May 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm #1897dogsandbirdsModerator
It could be he’s not feeding them because he’s not the father. If those aren’t his genes in the box he’s going to be pretty much uninterested in their survival.
There isn’t much you can do to distinguish one male from another unless you have one trained to a feeder and you go by behavior.
Atlanta, GAMay 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm #1899
Sadly, the female, the only one feeding the birds, disappeared and all five of the chicks died. The male is still around and had always been perching on and by the box every day, but never did feed any of the babies. He is still around but I never see the female any more, so I suspect she died or was killed. That is the first time that has happened in all the years of having the birds nest in my back yard. Hopefully, he will find another mate.May 15, 2016 at 9:03 pm #1900dogsandbirdsModerator
That’s really sad. How old were the chicks?
Ten years? I’ve been doing this a lot longer and have seen too many things I never wanted to see.
Atlanta, GAMay 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm #1902
The chicks were almost but not quite ready to leave the nest, with most of the feather showing, but not enough for them to fly. I just kept hoping the female would somehow return, but no such luck. Over the years, I’ve had great success, usually with 2 batches a year, but this is the first time I’ve lost a whole nest. I think you may be right about the male not being the father. In April, each morning the male would perch on my kitchen storm door, door handle and I could walk right up to him and he didn’t seem to care or fly away, so I got some great close up pictures. But then at some point, he stopped doing that, so maybe he left and a different male bird showed up. Who knows. This may be just one of those years that things didn’t work out. I still see the lonely male perching on the nest box, so maybe a different female will show up. Not sure how they find each other.May 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm #1903Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
This is so sad, Keith. I’m sure you and Gin are correct in that this was not the father of the babies – just too bad that the mom disappeared/died also. They just do not abandon their babies for no reason (probably better than some humans). The only time I had something similar was about 5 years ago when my mama bluebird was incubating 4 or 5 eggs, about two days from hatching, and she disappeared or died. Well, the papa was still around, hanging out around the nest, but of course, not able to incubate. Well, these eggs hatched WITHOUT being incubated for 2 or 3 days. The papa was still around but would not feed the babies. I tried desperately to find a rehabber who would take these babies, and found one in Kansas City, about 75 miles from me. But she gave me no hopes of the birds making it without never having been fed by their mother, so they perished & I buried them in my garden. Very heartbreaking. Things just happen – pick up and wait for the next nesting. Good luck.May 16, 2016 at 4:38 am #1914
So so sorry, Keith. Hope that male finds a female & you get another nesting. Devastating for you & Carol both!
NicoleMay 16, 2016 at 8:23 am #1915
Thanks Carol and Nicole. It really is sad to see the male all alone waiting for his mate. It makes you realize how big the odds are for the survival of the bluebirds and how valuable it is for those who do all they can to help increase if not save the population. I’m fortunate in that I live in a suburb/subdivision and not in the country and yet still get a nesting pair every year. It really is wonderful to have them around every summer.May 17, 2016 at 10:26 am #1935tamseaModerator
TammyMay 17, 2016 at 10:00 pm #1944
Keith, I also live in an HOA subdivision with a very small yard, so feel very fortunate to have the bluebirds nesting on my property. I put up a true bluebird house in the front yard this year, which is the one that bluebirds are going for brood # 2. I know our HOA, though, & am waiting for the day that they tell me to take the birdhouse down. I will appeal that one until I win! Hope it all works out for you & that male.
NicoleMay 18, 2016 at 9:28 am #1949
Thanks Nicole. It is really sad, the male keeps perching on the nest box each day waiting for a mate to show up. Hoping that will happen as he looks so lonely there.May 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm #1954
Bless his heart! Sure hope he finds a mate soon. Wish we could do more for these creatures…
NicoleMay 22, 2016 at 10:34 am #2020
Good news , maybe. I saw a female today for the first time looking at the nest, so maybe good things are on the horizon, and she’s not just a nest tease. The male has been diligent, hanging around the box everyday, so he’s been doing his part. Anyway, just seeing a female here is very exciting. Fingers crossed hoping things progress.May 22, 2016 at 10:42 am #2022ReneeinWinslowParticipant
I’ve had this happen before a couple of times.
When the new wears off the old shines through
When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.May 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm #2028tamseaModerator
Hope it’s love!
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