April 1, 2021 at 2:48 pm #8771
Just did a box check, found 2 bluebird eggs. It was 26 degrees last night and tonight low is supposed to be 20 degrees. What should I do? I was thinking I could bring the eggs into the garage where they would not freeze and return them to the nest after the temperature is above freezing. Or does mama blue set on them when the weather turns cold? Any advice would be appreciated. I did put up the sparrow spooker 😁
Judy – MichiganApril 1, 2021 at 5:10 pm #8775
Hi Judy. It is early for blues in your area. I remember last year we had the same issue in several locations. We talked about insulating covers in the discussion. I put a 3-sided, 1″ Styrofoam cover over my nest box to try to hold some heat in. I am not sure how helpful it was but it made me feel like I was helping the eggs to stay a bit warmer. I don’t remember if this was after all the eggs were laid and the female had started to incubate or if they were uncovered. I do know that all of the eggs hatched though.
Stafford, VAApril 1, 2021 at 5:51 pm #8776
Thanks David. Yes…Last year the 1st egg was laid on April 8th. After all the eggs were laid we had freezing temperatures and I did try to insulate around the box. All of the eggs hatched that time, but mama blue was incubating, which I think makes a huge difference. I don’t think insulation will work this time without mama’s heat. The inside of box would have to be 12 to 13 degrees warmer than outside temps.
Michigan Bluebird Society has advised me to let nature take it’s course and do nothing. Also said…As hard as it may be to do nothing, it’s the right thing to do in these circumstances.
As Carol says “Nature can be cruel sometimes”
Thanks, Judy – MichiganApril 1, 2021 at 9:17 pm #8777Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Judy, I believe the Michigan group gave you good advise – the one thing I learned is that you can close up the ventilation slots to keep some of the cold out – kind of late now but good advise maybe for the future. We had 29 degrees last night I believe and forecast for around 31 degrees for tonight. I am thankful I do not have any eggs yet. I’ll be hoping and praying for your blues’ eggs – sure hope they make it. Yes, Mother Nature can be cruel, but sometimes she can surprise us.April 2, 2021 at 1:12 pm #8778
Thanks Carol. Good news……there is not a 3rd egg as of 12:30pm today. Freezing again tonight, but weather report after that is all above freezing. It will be a miracle if the two eggs laid hatch, my thermometer said 19 degrees….brrr. Still looking forward to more eggs. Super happy she skipped today…….guess they do know what to do. Time will tell. Happy birding to all.
Judy – MichiganApril 21, 2021 at 9:26 pm #8892
Update on this nest. Total of 4 eggs laid. As of Monday 2 eggs hatched, 1 egg unhatched and I couldn’t see if the other egg was under the hatchlings or if they were on top of a hatchling. Super happy to see at least 2 hatched. I can’t check the nest until it warms up to see for sure how many hatchlings are in there. Tonight is the second night of freezing temperatures. Feeding extra live mealworms…..not many bugs out in the snow and cold weather. Put wool socks under the nesting box for insulation and west side of box has an insulation shield for wind. Also the wren guard helps keep the wind from blowing into the front hole. Hoping for the best.
Judy – MichiganApril 21, 2021 at 10:39 pm #8899
Good Luck, Judy
Stafford, VAApril 22, 2021 at 9:35 am #8902Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Sure hope the rest of your eggs hatch okay, Judy – good luck – mine are due in two days.April 22, 2021 at 2:19 pm #8904
Carol….I also have a nest with 5 eggs due to hatch tomorrow (Friday). I think everything will be fine ….both of my mamas are very good about staying on the nest. I will report back tomorrow evening on how both nests are doing. Hope this is Mother Nature’s last fling for this Spring. I think last year we had freezing temperatures until the middle of May.
Judy – MichiganApril 23, 2021 at 9:10 pm #8906
Ok…my first nest with freezing nights ended up with a total of 4 eggs. The 2 eggs that were in the nest with 2 nights of low 20 degrees did not hatch. The other 2 eggs hatched and are doing well. Yay‼️
The second nest had 5 eggs….today is hatch day….4 have hatched so far. Hoping to see all 5 tomorrow. This nest had some freezing nights, but temps not as low as nest #1 had.
I’ve never had nests this early, so happy they are surviving. Maybe this is the year for
3 broods from each pair. We’ll see.
Judy – MichiganApril 24, 2021 at 8:51 pm #8918
Good to hear the news about both nests, Judy. The weather has been strange all over. We have had freeze warnings the past 2 nights but everything seems to be okay. I did increase the mealworm feedings so the mama bird does not have to go so far to feed when she comes off the nest. I put a few worms out every couple of hours.
Stafford, VAApril 25, 2021 at 10:44 am #8921SassyParticipant
Congrats on the two nests, even though I have 2 nest boxes out I never succeed at getting two pair. Papa #1 chases off any other male that shows up.
So glad at least the last two eggs laid have survived and the second nest sounds very promising for 5 new blues.
My nest was built very early also, it actually surprised me when I saw mama working on it, but I am glad it all worked out, and her babies will fledge this week.
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