I was ecstatic to see the first egg on 3/28. Put a wren guard up early on 3/29 as I have had problems with them twice before, and no more eggs since. I moved the wren guard this morning, and still no eggs. Any thoughts? Can I incubate this egg myself if the parents don’t come back. :(
What kind of gap did you leave between the box entrance and the guard? They need 3″ to be able to easily negotiate a guard. Some females don’t readily accept any guard so it’s always a good idea to watch for that acceptance and immediately remove it if there is trouble. I understand wanting to protect them from HOWR. Been there for years.
Sorry, but you can’t incubate the egg. The only solution would be to find a nest with eggs that haven’t yet undergone incubation. That’s pretty difficult.
It was exactly 3″, thin cardboard that I had covered with brown mailing tape to waterproof it. I tried attaching with thumbtacks, but when I got home, it was on the ground and no second egg. I guess she just didn’t like it. It will be a week tomorrow since the first one was laid. Do you recommend I remove the nest from the birdhouse also?
What I would do at this point is wedge a piece of grass in the hole and see if it moves after 24 hours. If it doesn’t, then you can remove the egg and nest. Maybe somebody will try again. If they do, be very cautious with a guard. Some birds need a guard that barely covers the hole and no sides. After acceptance, you can gradually lengthen the front and add sides.
I tried the grass trick with a dandelion leaf so I could differentiate it from my other grass if it fell. The leaf was gone when I got home, but no more eggs, and the leaf was not incorporated into the nest. It is wicked cold here the next two days, so maybe I will wait through that and then remove the nest and egg. And I will be careful with the guard. In the last four years, I have lost two clutches, both to wrens, and once the eggs weren’t fertile, so the female bluebird tossed them and laid again. This is the early laying, so wrens aren’t as active here yet as they are later in the season.
Thanks so much for your advice.