July 20, 2023 at 11:19 am #27439
Checked my BB box today for newborns (about 17 days after laying) and found only two (out of five eggs) hatched/alive – other eggs still in box. Is it correct to leave others eggs in nest where they will get buried or remove them so as not to have a mess. I believe parents are feeding these two since I see them go in and out at times. Any comments?July 20, 2023 at 4:25 pm #27440David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Carol – that is 3 day after the normal wait of 14 days. I would say that if they have not hatched by tomorrow, they are not going to hatch at all and removal is okay.
Stafford, VAJuly 20, 2023 at 8:01 pm #27441
Well, even after all these years there is always something to learn – LEAVE NATURE ALONE!!
Hubby and I just went outside to check this box and babies &/or eggs. The two hatched babies were there and moved – there was NO sign at all of the other eggs which did not hatch meaning the parents disposed of them. The nest was just as neat & clean as it was to begin with.
I guess it is possible they buried the eggs but it was just too clean & neat for that.
This has really been a good lesson/issue for me – although this year I have been very more “hands off” than I used to be in the past (age will do that!!) – probably one reason is that this pair of parents had no interest at all in meal worms (I had gotten some very early and a lot of them had died) but they would not even come to the worm bowl at all. This means that nature is working well and the parents really do know what they are doing by getting the babies’ food from nature & all the bugs around !!!!
What a lesson . . . .
Sure wish I had had all this information when I was doing Bluebird Presentations at different places & towns – but you learn new things every day.July 21, 2023 at 8:40 am #27443TimCParticipant
I’m just a newb in the bluebird world but I have learned a similar lesson. Bluebird moms and pops will provide for their young without my help. I tried raising mealworms but ended up with a mess of Darkling beetles and after months have no worms. The blues have thrived without them.
I do provide a water source for one nest box that is far from a water source. I found that to be visited regularly by the area blues and Tree Swallows. I think they would find water without my help but I have a need to help withh more than providing a cavity.
Tim C. WI/MI border.July 22, 2023 at 8:29 am #27445
Welcome Tim to our Blueford forum – glad you found us!
Yes, I believe having a water source available is a good idea if at all possible. I have a birdbath right in my back yard, fairly close to my nestboxes. Even the squirrels like it (and also deer). It sure is fun to watch the squirrels jump into the birdbath and splash like the birds do. In the wintertime I have an extension cord that comes out of hubby’s workshop in the backyard with a heat element on it and that keeps the water from freezing – really great for the birds in the winter. What we won’t do for our bluebirds & others!!July 23, 2023 at 7:43 pm #27447tamseaModerator
It’s kind of personal preference. I don’t usually worry about removing eggs. If I do remove them it’s always after about a week because there have been accounts of eggs hatching late. Not many but I always err on the side of caution.
I’ve never had a dud egg crack open and cause a mess.
Glad your bluebird pair took care of it.
I do feed mealworms. I do it selfishly for me. I open my patio sliding glass door and throw them right by the door and they come and eat.
TammyJuly 23, 2023 at 10:09 pm #27449David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Tim – as an aside- I raise mealworms also. I had intended to supply my local Wild Birds Unlimited store with mealworms but COVID got me in late 2021, which limited what I could do. My chimney also developed a cracked liner during the winter that turned the basement too cold for my colony to survive. I lost over 3000 beetles and an unknown number of eggs and worms. I am just now getting the colony going again with 250 to 300+ beetles laying. I would be glad to share any information if you want to try again.
Stafford, VAJuly 23, 2023 at 10:23 pm #27451TimCParticipant
Thanks for the encouragement David. I think I’ll just focus on making sure they have water available.
I get it that people want to feed mealworms to their blues. I enjoyed watching the wrens in my yard polish off a batch that I gave them in the first couple weeks I tried to raise them. I certainly enjoy feeding birds all winter. What it comes down to is limiting additional hobbies, if you can call raising mealworms a hobby. My time is filled with many other pursuits and I hope to continue with my bluebird trails next spring. They were certainly a success this year.
Tim C. WI/MI border.
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