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Strange Bluebird behavior


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#1 sailormom64

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:07 PM

I am not sure what has happened. I had what I am sure is the same nesting pair that I had earlier in the year build a nest in the new bluebird box I put up, had 4 eggs she was incubating. (I previously moved all my feeders to the front yard so the bluebirds could nest in peace in the back yard) The pair I had earlier in the year fledged 4 babies and the pair that nested in the new nesting box had 4 young birds with them that the male was keeping tabs on, plus they attacked windows and mirrors just like the ones I had earlier in the year. Now, it looks like a new pair has taken over the box, the female looks different than the other female, her colors just aren't the same. And there are no young birds around anymore ( I realize that they may have just moved on to begin their own lives...) But this female that I believe is a different female has begun building a nest right over top of the other nest with 4 eggs in it. This new male and female pair do not attack windows or the mirrors on our cars. The other day I saw a different female land on top of the nesting box and start flapping her wings and the male came over, and looked inside, and my male bluebird swooped down making a fuss until they left. I wonder if they started fighting over this nesting box and made my birds abandon the nest? What should I do about the 4 eggs that are being covered up by the new females nest?

#2 sailormom64

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:38 AM

I checked the eggs, and there aren't any holes in them. I read the other post and it doesn't look like anything happened except my birds are not here anymore and there is a new pair who are nesting there now. There have been two Red Tailed Hawks, and one Broad Winged "hanging around" so maybe I will just take the feeders down and put away my bird bath for awhile. Not saying they got my bird, but their presence makes me a little cautious for the feeder birds. (Whatbird bio says that they eat small mammals but will eat a bird...) I know they need to eat too, but I would prefer they eat the other critters that are around rather than the little birds I lure into my yard with my feeder and birdbath!!
Its just so strange because even my husband commented that the bluebirds didn't poop on the side mirrors on his car, because he had just washed it and we discussed covering the mirrors with brown lunch bags until the birds had finished nesting.

#3 Gary Sicard

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:40 AM

I have tried for years to get Blue Birds in at my place. Wasn't till my Daughter in law and son got me a pro-Blue Bird house did I find out I was doing it all wrong, so the following spring I picked the location they said would best work, and had a pair checking it out. And to my excitment they started a nest. and as I was very careful to look cause it seemed they had left and was unseen for a week I open the side and about fell over to see this cool looking nest and 4 eggs.. I crept outside at night and with my fingers overs the flashlite lens to only allow a glimse of light excape I shine it ever so lightly in the openning and sure enought she was on the nest. we had went away for a week and when we came back I had walked by the nest and noticed she was not there so I took a peek and seen the little ones and quickly closed it. My hopes were coming true to have such beatiful birds in my yard. Then I made a big mistake. as I get home very early in the morning I eat a bit before bed and enjoy watching the morning parade of birds to the feeder and other buffet I provide. ( even have large groups of turkets come in, so much them and the dog now ignore each other. But as I sat there I noticed something went intot he bluebird box and I grabbed my field glasses knowing it was not a bluebird. i seen it come out and drop soemthing to the ground. it was a house sparrow.... I hurried out side to the box and there on the ground was three babies two were badly hurt and I was affraid to look in the box for fear mother would be injured or killed in the attack of the sparrow on the box. she was not there. I knew it was a weak chance but I put the babies back in the "empty" nest. went in the house fuming at my self. See I read about this happening and that house sparrow are very mean and destuckive to bluebirds. I also read that you can make a Sparrow spooker. I had got the materials, a pom pom and 1x1x24 inch piece of wood, but I had procastinated. My fault, I had left this happen. I went to bed and when I got up went back out and here is the weird part. they was babies on the ground now, most was injured by punture wounds, only one showed signs but was badly injured , so i stopped its suffering. But I went on a anti-sparrow campain. I learned what attracted them and stopped all of it. and to my pleasure 2 more blues came back later that year. picked the box and once I seen one egg in the nest the sparrow spooker went up and waited , the blues stayed as it artical said they would and not a sparrow came near that box. the female sat on the nest, they hatched and she sttented to it , didn't see the male at all during that part. then puff. He is there one morning and has three youngsters in tow and Mom has 2 of her three out of the nest, two days laters mom and pa and 6 youngsters are hanging around... so cool. As I write this I have the Dad sitting on hatched eggs takign care of them as mom is off somewhere on more eggs in a diff nest as I am told. The sparrows are at a minium now. I exspect soondad will be gone with these and go meet up with mom. Between the Bluebird and Blue Swallows the color is so nice to see. We have alot of color now adays if you just follow soem good rules, and I slowly learning them.

#4 meghann

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:51 PM

Honestly, I'd just let nature take its course, and hope that the new pair is successful. If the eggs already in there weren't incubated over night, they have probably stopped developing.

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#5 sailormom64

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

Meghann I am, you know I get so worried about them and when something seems out of the norm I wonder if I did something to cause it. The NABS site tells you to monitor the nest, so I did, I would do a quick check of the nestbox to see her progress, lasted less than a minute because I didn't want to disturb her and she was always out when I checked. I can see the nestbox from my living room and kitchen so I would wait until afternoon, and when I saw her go out I would go check on the progress. From what I have read, when they don't have a successful nesting they try again so hopefully the new pair will have one and the ones who left have found a better place to continue where they left off.

#6 meghann

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:24 PM

I don't think it was you. :)

Probably just a territory dispute and the resident pair lost.

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#7 threeofhardts

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:35 PM

I'm also having some odd things going on in my Bluebird nesting box. In April, one nest with 4 eggs, plus the mom - lost. In May another nest was started. A day or two later the box was completely cleaned out and a House Wren had started adding sticks to it which I continuously pulled out. Now, there's a new and complete Bluebird nest in the box. (Box was empty Sat. 06-02-12) I've seen the male several times today but have yet to see a female. Isn't it the female who normally builds the nest?

It seems a bit late for them to be starting anew but I hope this time they are successful.

I'd rather be birding.


#8 sailormom64

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:45 AM

The female is supposed to build the nest, at least that is what I have read. My males always go up and check the box during nest building... and if she is incubating eggs the male will feed her. I have never seen a male build a nest, but maybe he is super dedicated to his lady! I think they will keep trying until they are successful. I hope both our bluebirds are successful this time! I have read that they can have up to 3 clutches per season, so they have a lot of work ahead yet still! Let me know how yours progress! Mine are still building that nest on top of the other nest that was in there. The nestbox is so full there is almost no room for birds in there!

#9 spyonabird

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:57 AM

Occasionally I have seen the male bring in nesting material, but very rarely. Usually he just rearranges. But here is a video of him bringing material into the box.




also, my bluebirds are incubating their second clutch right now. We have also had them nest (successfully) in the middle of July.
Denise


"There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud."
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#10 sailormom64

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:04 PM

I love the video! I think it is just amazing how they can create those nests one little piece at a time! I would love to have a nestbox cam, maybe I'll be able to get one by next spring. I also love the video marked "marital spat" as they fought over who was going to feed the babies!

#11 sailormom64

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:23 AM

Checked my newcomers nestbox today, she laid the first egg!

#12 threeofhardts

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:16 AM

Congratulations sailormom64. I also found one egg in the nest today (06-07-12). Hoping for more.

I'd rather be birding.


#13 sailormom64

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:59 AM

That is great news threeofhardts I hope we both have successful attempts this time!!

#14 threeofhardts

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:24 PM

Looks like four is the magic number. There's been a lot of activity today with both the male and female keeping a close eye on the situation.

Posted Image

I'd rather be birding.


#15 sailormom64

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:45 AM

You will know when the eggs are about to hatch, the mom will turn the eggs up with the large side down and the narrow side up real close together! At least my last nesting pair did that and the next day I had a hatchling! I would love to have a nest cam to watch the action but.... maybe next year! So far so good and keep me posted! I have 4 eggs too and she is incubating! Daddy keeping close watch, I just really want this one to be successful!

#16 sailormom64

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:47 AM

two hatchlings today!
2hatchlings


#17 threeofhardts

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:44 AM

Yay! Congratulations sailormom64!

I'd rather be birding.


#18 sailormom64

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:28 AM

:D I checked today and the other two eggs have hatched too! Parents are busy taking care of them, so I didn't take a picture today. I just took a quick peek in to check on them, they were all snuggled up together! Each time I looked out, one of the parents was either taking food to them, or "changing diapers" I call it when they remove a fecal sac. I am happy! So far, so good!




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