1. why after 10 years of Blue Birds nesting in my bird house I am in North Raleigh NC..did I find about 5 eggs abandoned? this year?


    • Hi, Jo Ann, thanks for inquiring here. Though you have not seen egg abandonment before in your 10 years, I’ve experienced it a few times on my bluebird trail. It is not necessarily uncommon. There can be many reasons why that happens. Can you answer some questions for me for me to help distinguish possible cause of abandonment? First question is do you know how long the eggs were under incubation? Did you find any wasp or parasites inside the box or inside the nest? (I always dissect nests to see what’s inside the nesting material but only after I’ve removed the nests from the boxes, of course.) I have had two main reasons why I’ve experienced abandonment on a clutch — first, the female was killed by a predator (probably not snake because it would have predated on the female on the nest AND those eggs at the same time)–I’m thinking hawk or a roaming house or feral cat!) and perhaps those eggs were unviable. This is why I ask for your monitoring input on number of days the eggs existed in the nest and did you witness her going in and out of the box or did the male bring her food to eat during incubation or did you find her sitting tight on the clutch while you monitored the box? I have candled eggs that never hatched–the insides were completely clear, which tells me fertilization by the male failed. When a female sits on the eggs for weeks (and it can depend WHICH brood cycle she’s in–such as 2nd or 3rd), she’ll give up after a certain amount of time. If first cycle, she might try to bury those unhatched eggs, put more nesting material on top and try again or abandone and the same male will get another female to use that nestbox. I have a House Wren clutch of eggs this season that were laid and never hatched. I’m thinking the female wren was killed after laying. She totally disappeared!


  2. I have 5 eggs here, yet the nighttime temperatures have been 32F and brutal for the female attempting to incubate. Two frosts this week and insects are rare. I ordered 5K mealworms, due any day, in an attempt to save both pair and nestlings if they are lucky to survive. Pair are eating plenty of currents, yet they need protein. How is your trail holding up?


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