Heated Birdbaths

My first Bluebirds & then Tragedy!!!

by Mary
(Nashville, TN)

The day the babies were hatching

The day the babies were hatching

The day after I put my first bluebird house up (complete with baffle) 2 bluebirds started building their nest. I was so happy! Before I knew it, 4 eggs had been laid! I couldn't wait. The chicks started to hatch on a Thursday and I took photos (above). The next day I took more photos but they didn't look too good.

Horror of horrors on Saturday when I went to check on them. They (all 4 of them) were completely gone! No evidence of them anywhere. I don't think it was a bird attack as their nest was completely clean and there was no evidence they had ever been there. Nothing on the ground, no sign of a struggle - just completely vanished! I was so upset. The only thing I can think of is that it was a snake - although what's the use of a baffle???

The male has consistently come back, but I didn't see the female for a full 2 weeks - and now he's wooing a female but I'm not sure it's the same one.

In any event, he is desperately trying to get her to nest, but she doesn't seem to want any part of it... I did remove the nest after the tragedy.

Am hoping they will return to nest; nonetheless, it is wonderful to watch them!

If anyone can put my mind at ease as to what may have happened to them, that would be great! My next question is, will they nest again in the box?

Comments for My first Bluebirds & then Tragedy!!!

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Jun 09, 2018
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baffles
by: Gene

I would prefer the torpedo type. Bottom of baffle should be 4 feet above ground. Bird/Deer netting should be used with baffle. Place netting above baffle.

Jun 09, 2018
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Question about baffles
by: Anonymous

Amazon sells two kinds of baffles.

Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle, 18-Inch

Then there is this one:

Woodlink Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle Model NATORPEDO

I believe they are both recommended for 1 inch, maybe 1 1/4 inch poles. Which one is the best to deter snakes or will they both work equally well? Or is there a better baffle on the market? Snakes are a big problem where I live.

Jun 08, 2018
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Snake
by: Diacrum

I would replace the house. If there is any doubt that they would reuse the box, I’d rather spend the extra money for a box or materials to build a new one. They are such a joy to watch. I’m sorry you lost one of your babies!

Jun 08, 2018
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Baffle Security
by: Anonymous

After successfully watching at least two clutches of bluebirds fledge each summer for 15 years, we had a tragedy last week.

It was close to fledge time and we noticed the parents were very agitated and taking turns trying to feed the babies. Upon further investigation, there was a small rat snake in the box.

When Freddie removed it, two babies fell out which he returned to the nest. I'm pretty sure the snake ate one baby. The remaining babies fledged the next day, probably a day or two early. Hope they all made it.

Upon further investigation, our baffle wasn't snug up against the 4x4 so the small snake could get through the opening. I hope the parents won't shun this nest for further broods. Should we put up another house?

Jun 07, 2018
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Nest in Rose Bush
by: Gene

Yes, snakes can easily climb almost anything. Even greased poles.

Your nest sounds like a Robin nest. Bluebirds only nest in cavities.

Please see: Robins for more information.

Jun 07, 2018
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Rose bush nest
by: Anonymous

We have a very large thorny rose bush in front of our house. While pruning the bush on Mother's Day, I came across a Blue Bird nest deep inside our bush. We have loads of big trees in our neighborhood and everyone has feeders out. The nest had 4 tiny eggs.

I was thrilled, but honestly I had no idea what kind of bird was in the nest or anything about Blue Birds.

I researched and started putting out appreciate Blue Bird food to help support the mama bird. Over the next few days the mama bird became protective of the rose bush. I was putting some more dry worms out for the mama bird and took a peek in the nest hoping to see baby birds and the nest was empty.

I have continued to check the last few days but the nest is empty. I don't think a cat could get up inside our thorny bush and keep the nest intact.

I worry now that I may have a snake living in my rose bush at the front of my house. Can a snake climb a thorny rose bush? What should I'd do if anything with the nest?

Jun 07, 2018
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Babies are gone
by: Gerald

This morning I noticed the bluebird house was tilted a few inches on the wooden pole. When I got closer I noticed the nest was sticking out the little hole some. I did not hear the babies when I correct the wooden bluebird house back. Looks like something got them last night. so sad.

Jun 04, 2018
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Blue bird nest
by: Anonymous

I have pretty good luck putting my blue bird box on a metal post. I also have an extended entrance so coons can’t reach in. I grease the metal post so snakes can’t crawl up. We’ve been helping blue birds for over 40 yrs. My biggest problem are sparrows. One yr the sparrows wanted the nest area so bad, they built a nest right on top of the baby blue birds. Usually older blue birds are able to fight them off.

Jun 03, 2018
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Some ideas on deterring nest predators.
by: Dave

Wooden posts are easy to mount boxes on but easy for predators to climb.
Try 1 1/2" metal conduit pipe. It's for electrical wiring and comes in 10' lengths.
You may have to adapt your box to mount it. You can use ubolts, or drill holes through pipe and box, then bolt the box on.

You can treat the metal posts with a light coat of crisco, or motor oil to make it slippery. It will probably need to be reapplied depending on weather.

For the nest hole - cut a square that is about an inch bigger than the hole on all sides, so 1/1/2" hole, it should be about 3 1/2 to 4" square. Drill a 1 1/2" hole in the center and glue, nail or screw it so that it doubles the thickness of the hole.

Lastly, when you go to check on your box do not walk out to it and back, stop at it, do your thing, than continue walking either to the next box or a different path home. Don't lead predators to your box by walking out to it and directly back.

I saw that someone used a motion sensitive solar light. That is a great idea also, for owls, and flying squirrels.

You can still use a baffle but get or make one that sits like the musical symbols, not the tubular kind as those just give critters like a snake something to grip on and push against for support. The symbol one needs to be very wide and slightly angled down. A snake can extend a little over a foot without support.

Another little tip is to sprinkle some diatomateous earth in the bottom of the empty box in the spring. That will kill of insect parasites but not harm the birds. I've also read but never tried, using mothballs to deter snakes and mice. Maybe just drop them around the base? Not too sure on that one.

Hope this helps. I'm just glad I no longer live where there are snakes to worry about! Good luck to all of you.

May 26, 2018
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Re: deer netting
by: Anonymous

I just did this under my nest. It seems a rat snake will just work his way through this netting up to the nest. I could be wrong.

May 25, 2018
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deer netting
by: Gene

Google bird/deer netting and using it to protect bird houses from snakes. Bunch it up under the house to catch snakes.

May 24, 2018
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Eggs gone
by: Anonymous

Five eggs gone. Nest undisturbed. We have a baffle on a free standing metal pole. My son thinks it was a rat snake. I don’t know what to do.

May 24, 2018
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2 years of no success
by: Anonymous

This is year #2 of what I believe is unsuccessful. I live in South Alabama. I have 3 bluebird boxes installed. 2 are on 8’ 2X4 pokes at 6’ heights and the 3rd is mounted on an 8’ privacy fence. This box is the 1 that has had B.B. activity for the last 2 years.

I can see the box from my window and have seen Mr B.B. visiting several times per day. I never open the box to view activity but as of yesterday morning I haven’t seen either Mom or Dad around. I opened the box today and saw 2 eggs remaining.

Plenty of waste was visible on the walls so I knew either Mom or babies were making it. Last year I had 1 remaining egg after Mom & Dad disappeared.
Wondering, did the babies fledge & disappear with Mom & Dad?

May 22, 2018
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Ants, flying squirrels & owls
by: Anonymous

One thing I think is worth mentioning. Here in north Florida Bluebirds can nest late into the season and it gets hot and humid / rainy even now in late May.

One year after the eggs hatched I came out in the morning only to find the nest full of ants; they babies were dead.

So now I wrap my pole (my nests are situated on a telephone pole approx. 10 feet up) at the base with old cloth and I pour a solution of Sevin insecticide mixed in some water around the the base of the pole saturating the cloth. No more ant problem.

Sevin is inexpensive (hasn't much odor) and available at Home Depot, Walmart, etc. I am not suggesting everyone should do this depending on your circumstances but after that experience I am going with it.

One more thing. I have found two problems at night beyond snakes and raccoons; owls and flying squirrels will attack my nest at night. (After the eggs hatch and the mother is no longer in the nest at night I am covering the entry hole with fine wire mesh at night, taking it off in the morning.)

I bought a "Litom Solar Outdoor, Wireless 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar, Wide Lighting Area, Waterproof Security Light" at Amazon. I mounted it above my nest. I don't know about owls but flying squirrels hate bright lights and this thing is very bright. It can detect motion at 180 degrees, 25 to 26 feet away. I think it helps.

May 20, 2018
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Rat Snakes andbBluebirds
by: Barbara

When that happened to our Bluebirds we later found a rat snake near by. They can remove both eggs and hatchlings without disturbing the nest at all. Females usually won’t rebuild in the same nest when that happens. A baffle can prevent Snakes, squirles and raccoons from getting to the box.

May 20, 2018
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What happened to my baby Bluebirds???
by: Karensq

This is my first year to have Bluebirds!!! I was so so excited! They had 4 babies about 1 1/2 week ago, than this morning I didn't see the mother or father so I checked on the box and all the babies were dead!!! What happened???

There are no marks on any of them, I did notice one was not as mature as the others. They had feathers and looked as if they were going to be ready to leave the nest in just a few days! Do I clean out the nest and hope they come back??

May 20, 2018
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Bluebirds
by: Faye

It’s my first time having Bluebirds the joy was so wonderful, but my 5 or 6 babies that were 10 day’s old was taken by a Oak snake, the snake was still in the nesting box! Dead snake now! I pray I get them back, I put a Predator guard up and I’m afraid that they don’t understand what that is.

May 17, 2018
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Congratulations
by: Diane Crumbley

That’s great news about your fledglings! They sure are cute, aren’t they? We have a new egg in our nest after the previous 5 didn’t hatch. Maybe this time.....☺️

May 16, 2018
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Blue birds fledged
by: Terri Powell

5-16-18, today our baby blue birds fledged, 4 little puffs. Every year we put up ceramic bird bottles and this year we have a family. Mom and Dad have been amazing. We had two cats come into the yard but were fended off. Babies are now hiding under the shrubs in the garden.

May 16, 2018
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To the author of: To the bluebird watcher who had 4 hatch
by: Steve Klein

No. I check my Bluebird nests often. Parents might get a little protective but touching the boxes, making sure the box is secure, even touching the eggs is not a problem, not that you need to touch them. These birds are very attached to their young.

Also, I want to say this. I bought a "Wireless Home Security Driveway Alarm, Receiver and 2 Motion Sensor Detectors, Weatherproof Patrol Infrared Alert System Kit" at Amazon. It was $24.99, well worth the money for me and has given me a new window into the dangers the young face at night.

Twice my receiver in my bedroom went off at night only to discover 1) a flying squirrel killed two of the fledglings before I shooed her away; leaving 2 or 3 which the parents were very happy to have. 2) an owl landed on my nest at 5:00 AM the other morning before I shooed him away. So I fastened a "Litom Solar Light Outdoor, Wireless 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar Lights with Wide Lighting Area" ($15.00 at Amazon) just above the nest.

I think that will help as it lights the entire area brightly should anything approach the box within twenty plus feet. But also now, when the birds hatch and there is no mother in the box at night, I am wrapping fine wire mesh (1/4 inch) around the box in the evening and removing it in the morning.

The parents get a little protective (father dive bombed me; mom is more circumspect) but it definitely saves lives at night so I am going to continue doing it.

May 15, 2018
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Study Up
by: Gene

You might want to visit Bluebirds to learn about monitoring bluebirds. Bluebirds, raptors, (eagles, hawks, ect.) Purple Martins and other species need to be monitored in order for the species to thrive. When done correctly, it's very helpful.

We can't band and study birds and bird behavior without checking nest.

May 14, 2018
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To the bluebird watcher who had 4 hatch
by: Anonymous

How on earth did you get the looking down on photo...you obviously disrupted the birds...you caused the problem..don't touch the house leave them alone..how date you do what you did...leave them alone..take photos from afar with a zoom lens..how irresponsible some people are....

May 12, 2018
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Bluebird Fanatic
by: Liz

Hi there. We have bluebirds every year in our yard and have seen several broods. I believe a snake got yours...they were too young to fledge. It is sad but happens. The bluebirds won't nest again where a snake has been.

Replace the house and put it in another location. We have ours on a free standing wood pole about 9 feet up... And out a long screw below the hole. The parents sit on that screw and feed the babies. Don't clean the box until Fall when breeding season ends. They mate all summer.

If there has been a predator of any kind in the box, replace it. I would not remove any of the nest. If they build over unhatched eggs let them do it. We have mealworms in a hanging oblong caged feeder...the bluebirds come to it all year long. Wild Bird Unlimited has the best squirrel proof feeder we have ever found.

It's their own brand model. Not cheap but worth investing. The baffle is a long cylinder metal...no squirrel has gotten to any seed or worms in three years!

May 11, 2018
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DianeL
by: Diacrum

Diane, I think your baby bluebirds fledged. Once they do, it’s not unusual for them to hide and you won’t see them. Last year, after our 5 fledged, we never saw them again. We did get to see them fledge, however. We even got pictures! It was so much fun!

May 11, 2018
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New nest on top of old
by: Diacrum

The 5 eggs in the bluebird nest are quite overdue for hatching. Today, I noticed mama bb bringing in new nesting materials. Should I remove the old eggs so she doesn’t have to build a new one? Thanks for any help!

May 08, 2018
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Bluebird Questions
by: Anonymous

Do I need to clean out my bluebird box after the babies leave the nest? Also, will putting a snake guard outside the hole scare the bluebirds away? And...how can I entice them to a bluebird feeder? They won't come near it even though I put mealworms in it!

May 07, 2018
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Sparrows
by: Cynthia

We had sparrows nesting in one of our bluebird houses and kept pulling the nests out (with eggs inside) and pitching them. This was several years ago and we haven't been bothered with them since.

I do get Tufted Titmice or Chickadees nesting in the spare houses but that's okay as, apparently, my three houses aren't far enough apart for two bluebird pairs to nest.

May 07, 2018
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Safe Bluebird Houses
by: Cynthia

I'm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and we have had bluebirds successfully fledge at least two clutches of babies each year for 10 years. The preferred bluebird house is in the open on a 2x2 with a baffle.

We have a perch a few feet away for the parents to land with their meals and we "plant" a dead tree nearby for the parents to observe from. The one mistake we made on a second house was to surround it with chicken wire so our cat wouldn't jump to the top of the house - but a snake climbed it and ate the babies.

May 06, 2018
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Blue birds and nesting behavior.
by: Judy

We have two blue bird boxes. Both had returning pairs of parents and they built nests with in 2 weeks of each other.

They do mind me peeking to check on them. Both boxes had 5 eggs. The other day I checked and in one box had no eggs but was completely undisturbed. Probably a snake!

When I checked the second box it appeared to only have 2 eggs! I was very sad - but upon further investigation the other 3 were covered with nesting material.

We went to the bird store and bought two additional boxes and snake guards to replace the ones that he have.

We have two with guards and they open on the side with a piece of plastic so we can check on the birds.

Do you think they are building another nest and will still try to hatch the original eggs?

May 06, 2018
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Gene
by: Steve Klein

I live out in the county, pretty far from town. We do not see sparrows out here too often. If I am at home and hear sparrows, I would watch my nest.

I cover my nests with cardboard to protect them from the sun so it isn't easy to see them under the protective cardboard cover but at least during the day, the parents can try to protect their nest.

At night they are sleeping. Seems to me if your nest is sufficiently protected (raccoons sleep during the day) you should not have a problem with snakes.

Some people mount their nests on fence posts. I think that is too easy a target for snakes. It is the night time when we lose our young the most.

I started covering the front of the box with fine wire mesh in the late evening given mom is not sleeping in the nest.

That way I feel pretty certain nothing is going to get in there. I remove the mesh early in the morning.

May 05, 2018
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predation
by: Gene

What are you doing to keep House Sparrows, snakes and raccoons from attacking the young?

May 04, 2018
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The baby bluebirds disappeared overnight!
by: DianeL

I was so excited this season to have the first nesting bluebirds in the birdhouse. The parents were so good, and I kept mealworms available to help the parents. This week I expected the babies to fledge, they were sticking their little heads out of the birdhouse.

I had so much joy watching this family of bluebirds, until yesterday morning, and when I went to add the mealworms to the feeder, no babies at all! The parents have come back and perched on top of the birdhouse several times and then leave.

I do not see any signs of distress around the opening to the birdhouse, no scratching, or marks of any type. This is so terrible. Very sad.

May 02, 2018
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bluebirds and snakes
by: Gene

I'm so sorry Tammy. Do some research on pole baffles and snake netting to keep snakes from getting your birds.

Make sure to place housing on poles and provide netting (sold as deer netting in big box stores) to protect your bluebird houses.

May 01, 2018
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Devastating day
by: Tammy

We had several bluebird houses on our property and have had two pairs so far. The first set of fledglings left a few weeks ago and I have been watching a new set that had recently laid 3 eggs.

I came home from running errands and noticed a couple of birds flying at the house, so picked up the binoculars to look out. When I looked out there was a snake hanging out of the house! I ran out and jerked it out by the tail and threw it out but it had eaten the mom and all 3 new babies!

I am so devastated!
The way I know what he ate was because he threw it all up! Babies first and then mom. Does anyone have suggestions on how to keep this from happening again?

Our houses are on the 4 board fence around the pasture.

Apr 30, 2018
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Aggressive male sparrow
by: Anonymous

My first batch of 5 bluebirds hatched and fledged successfully. We pulled the old nest and in a week or so adults began building a new nest. There are no eggs in the nest yet.

Over the past couple of days there is a male sparrow constantly sitting on top of the bluebird house. The male and female bluebirds were sitting on the power line looking at him at one point when I went out to chase him away. I tried to shoot him with my bb gun but he flies away the second he spies me.

I ordered a sparrow trap but it is going to take about a week to get to arrive. I went online and found info on the magic halo to discourage sparrows. I fashioned one out of some barbed wire and weights hanging on jewelry wire and attached it to the bird house.

It is not 30 inches in diameter, probably more like 18 inches in diameter so the weights hang fairly close to the house but it was what I could come up with close the end of the day. I didn't see the male sparrow again but I had to leave shortly after I finished the halo.

Will this keep the bluebirds away too since they don't have eggs in the nest yet? Do I need to cut up a tomato cage to make a larger diameter halo?

Apr 30, 2018
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Beautiful Bluebirds....
by: Anonymous

I wish everyone would say what STATE they were in... each area is different, some have mocking birds as predators, , some have snakes etc.. depending where you are...

I live in Maine and have finally figured out after many years of wishing for bluebirds that the first MOST important thing is the baffle around the pole, yes the pole! Not a tree and not a house and not a porch... predators are a dime a dozen!

A metal pole about 5 to 6 feet tall and a Blue bird house with a 1 and 1/4 hole with a 2 inch guard, yes 2 inches to protect against raccoons and their reach into the nest ... and a BAFFLE of at least 30 inches around at the half way point up the pole is a MUST!!!

My bluebird houses are made professionally! I have traveled on my vacation away from home and come back by boat from and island each day to feed live mealworms to my beloved bluebirds and they were feeding their babies!

They all lived even after the war against the sparrows! A sparrow Spooker is a MUST for sure! They still lived after the assault It takes A LOT of responsibility and LOVE to make a huge difference... when they all flew away, I said thank God to the most beautiful blue of blues I have ever set eyes on!

Magical and whimsical ... Here we go again with a new spring! xoxo

Apr 30, 2018
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Bluebird tragedy
by: Anonymous

I had the same thing happened. I concluded grackles were the culprits. So I added an extension around the hole in the box to the tour of the grackles. Hopefully this year will be better

Apr 28, 2018
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Cover your nest at night with wire mesh
by: Anonymous

I too have done everything I can to protect baby bluebirds year after year. I have my nest on a telephone pole (10 feet up) with barbed wire wrapped around it near the bottom. Just bought a couple of sensors I hung on the pole with the receiver in my bedroom.

I think it was (like you say) either snakes or raccoons that got the young in the past. A few days back for some reason my sensor went off. I rushed outside at night, nothing on the pole climbing up. So I shined my flashlight at the nesting hole and some little head kept popping in and out, then quickly it jumped out.

I am almost certain it was a flying squirrel. She was killing them one by one (she killed 2 of them) and I am sure she would have then ejected them from the box.

Often flying squirrels build nests in my bluebird houses in the fall. So I went to Lowes and bought some 1/4 inch wire mesh, doubled it over and I am wrapping it around the the front late in the evening. Mom and dad bluebirds divebomb me but after I climb down the ladder they are fine and I sleep better at night.

I get up early and take the mesh off so they can feed. So many predators out there at night. That is when we lose them, at night.

Apr 27, 2018
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SAFE BLUE BIRD HOUSE
by: Joan Carter


I have had no problem for 30 years after hooking the Blue Bird House to my house as Rats, Cats etc can climb up poles and Fence.

Apr 26, 2018
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Bluebird Eggs
by: Gene

Clutch size can be up to 7 eggs. Incubation will begin with the last or next to last egg.
Keep House Sparrows away and protect from snakes.

Apr 25, 2018
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Bluebird eggs
by: Sheltie

As of Saturday we had five eggs in the bluebird box. Saw glimpses of female and male on Sunday, haven't seen them since. Doesn't look like the egss have been turned, 40s, 50s and low 60s here, eastern panhandle of WV. How long do I wait?

Apr 22, 2018
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keeping watch
by: Ann

Thank you for your comments. Haven't seen any action around the house in two days. Want to get a dental mirror and see if I can see what is left inside.

Maybe I should go ahead and clean it out to see if another bluebird couple might consider it? On a happier note, my wood thrushes are back this year singing their beautiful songs in the wooded section behind me.

Saw one of them poking around some leaves looking for bugs. Love them!

Apr 20, 2018
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Maybe House Sparrows
by: Gene

Could be House Sparrows. They are not interested in feeding on other birds, only eliminating them from their territory.

Apr 20, 2018
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dead? birds
by: Ann

I thought something was amiss with my bluebird house when I noticed a bunch of 'stuff' around the entrance hole. I went up to check it out closer since I hadn't noticed mama bird in over a day, and the 'stuff' were little downy feathers stuck on the entrance hole, on the pole, on the back of the house, with contour and wing feathers on the ground, and some dark bloody body matter on the ground; can't make it out at all, but it was once alive. I think the adult bird must have been predated upon. I'm so upset. This is our 4th year to have bluebirds use this nesting box to have their family.

I hope another bluebird couple will use the box. What I can't figure out is why there is some kind of body stuff on the ground. Why didn't whatever killed it eat the meat?

Seems like there was a struggle in and around that entrance hole. Any ideas about what might have happened? We've also had unseasonably cold temps.

Apr 19, 2018
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Tragedy indeed
by: Anonymous

Two sets of bluebirds built nests and laid eggs. In one day both were destroyed. A snake got one house and a racoon got the other in the night.

I put predator guards on the houses in, but I do not know if the guys will be back... I also suspect that the racoon got the female. The male and female were left after the snake got their nest.

Sad. Guess that is nature.

Apr 12, 2018
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Mockingbirds
by: Gene

Mockingbirds do not use birdhouses. I suspect you've got House Sparrows. Mockingbirds would not fit inside a Bluebird house.

Apr 12, 2018
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THE Mocking birds 😭
by: Anonymous

Last year my first experience with a bluebird nest box turned sour. The Mocking birds fought them tooth and nail. Blue birds remained resilient. Laid three eggs but gave up and didn't hatch. This year doing great so far, I got ahead of the mocking birds and let them build their nest then I took it out. Mocking birds are mean and they are not going to own my back yard. Blue birds are working very hard in morning and I'm watching for success this time.

Apr 10, 2018
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Empty nest
by: Anonymous

I have a set of bluebirds that have built a nest in my house. I have not seen either one coming and going lately. Do you have any idea what is going on. Thanks. Brenda

Apr 09, 2018
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Glad They're Back
by: Gene

I've done similar things with nesting birds. I'm more careful in early mornings and at dusk. Live and learn. Enjoy your bluebirds.

Apr 08, 2018
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Adults were feeding young all day
by: Anonymous

Yes the adults were back feeding early this morning. Thanks very much for your reply. I think the female managed to get back into the nest before dark.

Apr 08, 2018
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Bluebird Flushed From Nest
by: Gene

It's about midday in your area and I suspect the adults are back to feeding. Most are reluctant to abandon their young.

Apr 07, 2018
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Accidentally flushed adult at dusk
by: Anonymous

I accidentally flushed an adult bluebird from the nest about dusk. It will be unseasonably cold here in the Texas Hill Country tonight (maybe 35) and the box is by my vegetable.

I went out to make sure the wind hadn't blown the covers off my vegetables about 15 minutes before dark and although I was very careful the adult flew out.

The hatchlings are about 10 days old we think. I hope the adult comes back. I am worried about the hatchlings will be okay tonight if she doesn't come back. Thoughts?

Apr 06, 2018
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Predator Guard
by: Gene

Look for some type of predator guard that prevents animals climbing up to the nest.

Second, are you sure House Sparrows didn't attack the nest? These non-natives destroy eggs and even killing Bluebirds while incubating eggs.

See: Sialis.org for information on Bluebirds

Apr 04, 2018
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Heartbroken over broken up bluebird nest
by: Anonymous

So sad...Last year a family of blue birds successfully raised babies in a bird house that I have hanging on my covered back deck. Today I went home from work, to find the eggs all broken up outside of the bird house. I'm not certain, but feel pretty confident it was a raccoon that did this, as there is a raccoon that comes to my birdfeeder to eat almost nightly. What can I do so the birds and the raccoons can co-exist? This loss breaks my heart. I'm afraid the beautiful blue birds won't return.

Mar 28, 2018
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Loss of chicks
by: Anonymous

You need to check your birdhouse. It is highly likely a predator got the chicks. I suggest a predator guard or a different house with such guard.

Mar 12, 2018
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Replying to Angie
by: Rosanna

From my observation over the years in filming hours and hours of nesting bird activity in my backyard I noticed that once the birds have at least laid one egg, they appear to be more committed to staying with that nest.

So, possibly you may have set out the baffle too early, because if they hadn't yet laid an egg or even completed the nest, then they don't really have anything to protect and will try again elsewhere. Just my opinion.

Mar 11, 2018
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Baffle Installed and Now Bluebirds Won’t Come Back
by: Angie

We had Bluebirds last year and a pair started coming to visit the birdhouse back in Feb. They began a nest, so we installed a baffle for protection. Now, they haven’t finished their nest and won’t come back. Sad......should we wait and give them more time or remove the baffle?

Dec 12, 2017
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Paranoid
by: Cinette

After reading all of the comments I am extremely paranoid to install my six bird houses. Perhaps, I should just give them away. The responsibility to manage a bird house seems overwhelming. Maybe, I’ll stick to just feeding my birds.

Aug 07, 2017
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Replying to Anonymous (Aug 6th) Posting
by: Rosanna

Sounds like you are describing a Blow Fly infestation. I had never experienced that myself in all the years I have been watching my nest boxes until this year, with my Tree Swallows.

Started out with 5-eggs, only three hatched, but only two fledged. I always set up a Camcorder with several SD cards with storage capacities that range from 2 to 10 hours of video capture.

I noticed during playback larvae coming out of the box, and one chick had some bare spots on its side. When the two fledged, upon cleaning out the box, found a carcass of the third one that hatched that had feathers but much smaller.

The larvae eggs are laid as soon as the nest is built, and start to feed on the chicks as soon as they hatch. The larvae only come out at night so parents cannot see them to remove them. It is then a fight for survival.

The third chick was so weak it couldn't compete with the others for food so it perished. I felt was so distraught thinking of that third chick being too week to reach the opening to be fed.

Without my camcorder recording what I saw I wouldn't have known what caused my third chick to die.

Aug 06, 2017
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what happened to baby bluebirds
by: Gene

Please look at this site as I think it will be helpful to new landlords.

Sialis-Bluebirds

Aug 06, 2017
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Why do fully grown bluebird babies suddenly die?
by: Anonymous

For the second time this year, my fledgling baby bluebirds, ready to fly away, suddenly die. Today, I was expecting our babies to fly out of the bluebird house. They have been so active, I knew it had to be time. I saw them at noon, parents feeding them. Then later parents came to feed and nothing, no response from the babies.

I finally checked, assuming the had flown. But inside there were two fully formed baby bluebirds. Dead. For the second time this year my heart is broken. I do not think our immediate neighbors spray their lawns, so I don't know that it was that. And they were so active, but then I guess they became less and less so until today. But they were still alive.

They did look sort of dirty as I peeked at them when they were peeking out. Not sure that was any problem. I'm a total novice. But when I did clean them out, the nest was pretty muddy looking and there were a couple of big dead flies in there with them.

Is there anything I can do to prevent these tragedies. I am so heartbroken after two tragedies this year, I am thinking of removing my birdhouse altogether. I can't stand to watch the parents work so hard just to have their babies die.

In years past I have had total success with at least one brood, when I was able to watch three babies fly away. The joy of my life. But what is making these babies die? I must know or give up the house (a prefab some sort of plastic, I guess) made specifically for bluebirds.

Jul 21, 2017
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baffles
by: Anonymous

Last year we had a rat snake climb up a cylinder type baffle and eat the baby Bluebirds. The box is mounted on a post. Replaced that baffle with the umbrella type that is about 36 inches and it seems to be working. Have a brood of 4 babies in the box now. I spray ant repellant at the bottom of the post.

Jul 20, 2017
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sometimes it is hard
by: wether station

my backyard pair has had two successful fledges this year but our third just ended in disaster. Although i have a baffle and bird netting a snake got caught in the net under the box and then i think the parents panicked and cause the close-to-fledging babies to leave the nest. I found one and took it to rehab but cannot locate the other two. The parents are frantically looking but in the heat i don't have much hope. i am just surprised the parents are so diligent in trying to find them!

Jun 20, 2017
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Snake
by: susie

Had a snake yesterday am. Removed it. Put nest back in. It was empty of course. Now the male is frantic again pecking on my window. Sitting on porch watching him. He looks inside and then flays around my head frantic chirping. Should I have left the nest outside?

Jun 10, 2017
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Same
by: Anonymous

We had house wrens and it was about a week until they hatched but then we realized the side of the house was wide open. That door is really hard to open so we checked our security cameras and we couldn't see anything the parents both came back stayed for a minute then left one of them has come back a few times but I haven't seen the other. Very sad if a person took them I lost my faith in humanity.

May 31, 2017
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bluebirds and predators
by: Gene

If you have one snake you have hundreds. They can climb anything. House Sparrows, House Wrens, Raccoons and others will prey on Bluebirds. Monitoring houses and adding predator guards will help to ensure bluebirds have successful nesting.

May 31, 2017
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Bluebirds Disappeared
by: Cab4612

Looking for some peace of mind that nothing tragic happened to our bluebird family.

After five years, we finally had bb's nesting in our yard again and despite reservations ( previous nests had been attacked by house wrens) we welcomed them!

The day the first egg was laid I heard a house wren and was terrified. The wren seemed to hang out in nearby woods but not trouble the bb's. This pair was very protective of their nest and seemed very wary of any possible predators.

They would swoop and attack me if I got close to the box.

I fed mealworms and watched this box carefully. Eggs hatched and nestlings were doing well. On day 16 after hatching, I had to leave town ( it killed me as I knew they would fledge any day).

The next day, my daughter called me and said there were wrens on the box and no sign of bb's. After a couple hours with no bb sighting, I gave her permission to open the box. There was nothing in it and nest and box had usual post-nesting look.
It is one week later and still no sign of any bluies!

Does anyone have any ideas? I am so worried about them!

May 30, 2017
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Bluebirds eggs (four) watching for two week
by: Anonymous

blue birds came and made a nest and there were
4 eggs. That was some 12 days ago. today after
seeing sparrow( quite a few) around the box and in
the tree I push them away. Today I looked into the
nest all the eggs were gone. I am so sad

May 30, 2017
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Abandoned nests before babies born.
by: Judy S.

For two years now we've had our wonderful bluebirds come, build a nest and lay 5-6 eggs, and then tragically abandon the nest. Don't know why, nothing seems to be wrong.

It is now almost June and we have another pair seeming to build. Would hate to have this happen again. 3 years ago, we did discover a snake coming down the tree, and I was able to spray it with hornet spray and never saw it again.

Don't know if that could have anything to do with our present problem or not. Any ideas???

May 29, 2017
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Waiting for Bluebirds!
by: Anonymous

Last year I had a family of bluebirds and they all made it and flew away ( I was happy but cried when they left) I had watched them and fed them live mealworms for weeks and even chased away a couple of hawks.

Two years ago I had a mom and dad bluebird that made a nest in one of my boxes and had eggs and I to came home from camp, gone 2 days and they were GONE! No birds! I opened the box and the nest was still there untouched, all the eggs were gone and one was left but broken, so either a sparrow got them OR a raccoon.

I saw some hair on the box and decided it was a raccoon, I was told at the bird store that the guard (hole) has to be 2 inches thick!!!! My birdhouses were all 1 1/2 thick! If the guards are 2 inches thick a raccoon CANT bend his arm down so the birds and eggs are saved… Also, we live in Maine and I have baffles, has never seen a snake, but the baffles must be working…I also wonder about the bluebirds taking out the nest material that someone wrote.

They do take out the babies waste. That started me at first but then researched it. It takes a commitment to bring these beautiful and magical birds along….

May 22, 2017
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Babies died,but one
by: Anonymous

Took the female weeks to finish laying all her eggs. i've waited and finally, the parents become more attentive. not feeling comfortable about the time frame. I checked it today.

All babies died (3) but one. three eggs did not hatch. I put the baby back after cleaning out the eggs and babies that died. Don't know what to do. SO SAD!!! there was a mocking bird always hanging around, however. My little heart is broken :(

May 21, 2017
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Help
by: Leilani

We had a nest with 5 babies and I watch them constantly and take photos as I really enjoy watching the whole process. A couple years ago I put a bungee cord around the house because I lost a nest of babies to some sort of predator.

Something happened again this year. We went out of town for 3 days and soon as we came home I went to check them. From a distance everything looked fine....birdhouse looked fine and bungee cord still wrapped around. When I opened the house everything was gone.

No babies and not one piece of nest. What possibly happened. How do I prevent this? We get nests every year and I try so hard to help them survive....please help!!

Apr 29, 2017
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Tragedy for us too
by: Joyce

All of a sudden our baby bluebirds disappeared. The male and female kept flying to the birdhouse and started taking out the nesting material. What do you think happened

Apr 22, 2017
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snakes
by: Gene

One word of caution, you may want to add bird netting under the house for protection against snakes. Snakes can climb anything.

Please don't think there are no snakes, they're everywhere.

Regards,

Gene
wild-bird-watching

Apr 22, 2017
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In response to Patricia Roberts
by: Rosanna

We had Raccoon problems twice last year removing eggs & chicks from Blue Bird Box, but after changing the way we mounted the box, we were able to witness a successful brood fledge a few weeks later.

We bought two narrow metal poles (hollow) one smaller than the other, pushed the larger dia. into the ground, drilled holes at the top of it, and put the smaller dia. rod inside to strengthen it, and drilled through the holes again into the inner pole and but bolts through both rods.

Then we made holes at the top of the smaller rod which extended further above the larger rod and drilled holes there and anchored the box to the holes. The rods are too skinny for raccoon to get a grip on and climb up.

We set this up nearby a tree for the birds to perch in safety to monitor their box, but NOT TOO CLOSE, so a raccoon cannot reach the box from the tree limbs.

Apr 21, 2017
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I lost by bluebird eggs to a predator last night
by: Patricia Roberts

Today for me is your day. Tragedy. The chicks were to hatch today. I noticed a lot of commotion around the bird house this morning, which is a sign of possible trouble.

The nest was nil of bird eggs. I pulled the nest out and went through it and a tad bit of blood was in the nest. Papa bird was and is hanging around the nest, protecting it.

I believe a raccoon got into the box because we do have a raccoon that visits our yard. Also, 4 ft from the birdhouse is a huge pile of poop.

We have no animals on our property nor can they get into our backyard. I've heard cayenne pepper might work to put on the ground, as it might burn the feet of the raccoon enough for him to stay away. I'm devastated.

Should I pull the nest out now and clean the birdhouse?

Apr 21, 2017
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Spooker didn't work on my Sparrows
by: Rosanna

I had a pair of Chickadees start nesting in one of my boxes for the very first time earlier this month.

One day I found the female dead inside, cleaned it out and another pair started using it. Noticed aggressive sparrow activity so put up a sparrow spooker that we made using the patterns on line - guess what, it didn't phase the sparrows at all.

In fact, the male sparrow tried to drag one of the dangling strands inside the ready-made chickadee nest.

I was monitoring all this on a camcorder that I used with a 10-hr SD video card in it, and it kept the chickadees away. So I removed the spooker, since it wasn't working on the sparrows, and the Chickadees returned.

However, the very next morning I had just set up my camcorder, and immediately the female chickadee flew into the nest, a pair of sparrows swooped down, the male went inside then the female.

Obviously I was watching this video later in the evening so I was unable to rescue the Chickadee, but it was very upsetting. I have never seen Sparrows be this vicious, only witnessing them removing eggs.

But the female Sparrow after the Chickadee was obviously dead, dragged her out of the box by her wing and dropped to the ground, where I found her body later with no feathers on her bloodied head.

The most annoying part of all this was they didn't even want that nest (I have several around my backyard) - I kept monitoring that box to see if the Sparrows would use it (with intention of trapping them in there) but they never came back.

So, basically Sparrows are just killers with no obvious reason for doing so, because they didn't even want that nest box. On a good note, another pair of Chickadees started using one of my other boxes yesterday afternoon so I monitoring that one closely too.

I have a pair of Bluebirds and a pair of Tree Swallows checking out the remaining boxes. I don't worry about the Swallows so much because they are aggressive protectors, so I have been able to witness successful broods year after year with them.

Apr 20, 2017
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Baby Bluebirds
by: Gene

First, replace the birdhouse with a recommended house with a predator guard that you can monitor easily. (next time)

Make sure that nothing is keeping the adults away and no blowflies or mites are hurting the young.

If the adults are around and predators are kept away, they should be okay. Good Luck!

Apr 20, 2017
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Babies gone
by: Evelyn

I had my first blue bird box many years ago and learned the hard way to get a baffle. Since then have had no problems until this week.

Was so excited there were 5 eggs. Never had 5. the day after Easter 4 hatched and there was one egg. That was Monday. Tuesday all 4 babies were gone and one left, seriously injured.

Had an injury to the head and momma and papa were clearly upset. Today, Thursday, I checked and nothing was in the nest. Cleaned out the nest.

Mama and papa and interested in starting again. I'm worried. What did this???? I feed dried meal worms and have had a new bird visiting - blue jays - are they to blame??? Any comments would be appreciated.

Apr 17, 2017
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Bluebird parents abandoned nest?
by: Debbie

We have a nest box with four six-day-old baby bluebirds in our yard. Last night, I noticed the father wasn't around, and the mother wasn't feeding much and then stopped coming back to the nest way before dark. Today, there has been no feeding of the babies, that we can tell and we've been watching very closely, for 6 hours. My husband finally peeked in and saw at least one little baby head moving, so we decided to leave things alone for now. We have an ornamental bird house that does not open. Any ideas or suggestions? We hosted another brood in the same house last Spring, with two fledging successfully out of the three. This is heartbreaking to watch.

Apr 16, 2017
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Sparrow Spooker
by: CJ

I can't say enough about the Sparrow Spookers. I have security cameras mounted around my home and security lights.

One night the light went on in the backyard. My wife got up and saw a very large cat on the fence going toward the nest box which sets 4 ft out from the fence. She woke me up, I hurriedly got 1/2 dressed and ran to the back, by that time it was gone.

In the morning I checked the cameras which can record on a DVR and there it was trying to get to the nestbox.

It got out on the plastic pipe but when it got to the Sparrow Spooker it got afraid because the mylar strips kept hitting it.

It jumped down and was gone.I bought a live trap and trapped 2 very large mean snarling Feral Cats.

I called the County animal control and they came and picked them up also trapped an Opossum and released it in a Wildlife Preserve.

Sparrow Spookers work. I also put Vaseline on the plastic Pipes. I'm now watching 4 BB'S ready to fledge thanks to the Sparrow Spookers I have on my boxes and the trap to catch the Feral Cats.

Apr 02, 2017
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Sparrows are evil...
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am so sorry about your beautiful bluebird, sparrows are horrible, they almost got my family of bluebirds last summer but I read about making a sparrow spooker and made one and put it up, it's the only thing that saved them other than me watching all the time and with binoculars…

If you don't have them, I definitely recommend them! I just googled sparrow spookers… good luck!

Mar 30, 2017
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Sparrows
by: Anonymous

I have a number of bluebird houses on the property along with a multifamily birdhouse. Today saw some sparrows going in and out. I went to clean out their nest, and found a dead male bluebird inside.
I'm totally on the warpath now...

Jun 16, 2016
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snakes
by: Gene

Make sure you have baffles for raccoons and snakes under the houses.

Jun 16, 2016
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Cried like a baby
by: Mouse

We have two nest boxes near our home. Yesterday I had 5 babies in one box and four in the other. Something got my box with the five baby bluebirds. My heart broke. I have been getting rid of sparrows for weeks but they just keep on coming. I saw the post for the sparrow spooker and will try that for the nest with the four babies. We have 15 boxes on our property and I have counted 18 fledglings this year so far. So hard to know exactly though. The nasty sparrows😢

Jun 16, 2016
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First bluebirds
by: Laurie

We put up a bluebird house about a month ago and I'm so excited bluebirds started making a nest about five days ago. I'm a little confused because I'm pretty sure I'm seeing a male and female and then what looks like maybe a juvenile bluebird-blue with darker feathers on its back. Would three birds be working on a nest together or is the third bird just hanging out with its parents?

Jun 12, 2016
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re:
by: amilu

I just witnessed a constrictor snake killing one of my 4 babies in the nest. The nest was set up in a crook of a gutter next to my back door. I opened the door to let my dogs out, and there was a snake and a baby hanging at eye level. It broke my heart; I loved watching the babies grow up! I hope the other 3 were able to make it.

Jun 04, 2016
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#3 continued....
by: Rosanna

So, just finished watching rest of the clips and male has stopped coming to the box. However, I was rethinking the footage I saw earlier with the male and female together and I now believe he probably not my original male with another female, but maybe it was another pair checking out the box, hence the female not wanting to go inside. That male did go inside and brought out some nesting material, why I don't know, but with the eggs still inside they stopped coming by.

I am now believing that my female was in fact the one in the road, and the male has since stopped coming by.

So where does that leave me with the eggs. I know legally they cannot be removed unless they have been abandoned for several days, but these eggs had been incubating for at least a week up until yesterday afternoon, and I have footage to prove the nest is abandoned, so should I remove them tomorrow (it's dark now) and clean out the box for another pair to use?

Jun 04, 2016
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....continued...
by: Rosanna

Today (Saturday June 4th) I set up the camcorder again because I saw the male at the box again around 7:15am. He continued to return to the box, sometimes with food, more frequently than he had ever done the past few weeks combined. Finally around 2-hrs later he shows up with the female, except she didn't appear to know how to get into the box - it seemed like she was really struggling to figure out how to get inside the hole. That made me start thinking it was not the same female and the male probably hooked up with another female and either wanted her to be a surrogate for his existing eggs in the box or he was going to try to restart a new clutch with her, but maybe she didn't want someone else's eggs in her nest? I don't know what to think. It is now 5:45pm and I had just checked the eggs which are now cold, but haven't finished watching all the footage from afternoon filming yet, to see if the male has quit coming to the box, but I am now thinking the eggs are no longer viable.

Jun 04, 2016
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Bad Luck again with 2nd set of Bluebirds
by: Rosanna

In my previous post, I mentioned having a 2nd pair of bluebirds nesting again with 3 eggs. Three days later (last Sunday May 29th) they had another egg and were warm due to female starting incubation. I had my camcorder set up on and off all week, and was checking the footage last night from yesterday's filming and found that the male had stopped coming to the box around 2:15pm. The female remained until 3:15pm and then left and did not return. Meantime, my husband went to pick up our mail at the end of the driveway and saw a dead bluebird in the road, which he thought looked like a male. However, I continued watching my footage just in case it wasn't "my" male, and sure enough he shows up at the box at 6:15pm, 4-hrs after his last visit and 3-hrs after the last female sighting. He continued returning to the box with food right up till dark, as he did not appear to realize the female was gone. / continued.......

May 30, 2016
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Blowflies
by: Gene

Sounds like Blowflies larvae and maybe mites. Proper monitoring of the nestbox and a nest change could prevent this from happening. Wet nest can also cause hypothermia which would weaken their systems.

Please takes some time to read more about caring for bluebirds at: sialis.org

May 29, 2016
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Dead chicks in the nest
by: Melissa

We had our second nest since moving into our house two years ago. The first nestlings jumped out too early and would not stay in the nest. ( I discovered there were two nests in the box and cleaned it out). This year a set of birds came back and made a nest, things were going great. Parents were feeding all day. I could hear the chicks tweeting. Today I noticed the adults were not around very much so I checked the box, All four were dead. One probably dead for a few days and the other three were just dead today I'd say. We are so disapointed. The nest seemed wet and had some little worms, smaller than maggots, in it. A few ants but nothing major. My neighbor did a whole bunch of landscape work yesterday. I wonder if they sprayed pesticide and the parents fed the babies poisoned worms.

May 27, 2016
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Blue bird reflection in window
by: Anonymous

Hi,
Only had a thought about the blue birds seeing there reflection in the window… they may not like that and think it is another bird trying to steal their territory… My husband and I saw a wild turkey see his reflection in the shiny sides of his black Jeep and started to attack it! He scratched his car in many places because he thought his reflection was an enemy… just a thought, maybe your bluebirds are leaving because they see their reflection..

May 27, 2016
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Sparrow Spooker
by: Kelley

Rosanna, have you tried using a sparrow spooker? I’ve been using them for years with great success. I maintain a bluebird habitat with 18 nest boxes and the sparrow spookers is a life saver. I make them myself using wooden dowels, mylar ribbon and hot glue.

sparrowspooker

May 27, 2016
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House Sparrows
by: Gene

Please spend some time on sialis.org

learn about trapping and controlling House Sparrows so that native species have a better chance at survival.

Gene
www.wild-bird-watching

May 27, 2016
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Another Blue Bird nest started
by: Rosanna

Right after posting my previous comment today, I checked a new box that I had put out to replace the one that had been attacked by sparrows May 6th, and I am elated to find 3 blue eggs inside it. However, I don't know if they are from the same pair that lost their first clutch to the sparrow or if these are from a different pair of bluebirds. Either way I hope the male will be more attentive this time.

May 26, 2016
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Lost my Blue Bird eggs to Sparrows
by: Rosanna

I had commented earlier (anonymous) about monitoring my birds with a camcorder all day long. Well, on May 6th, I noticed a sparrow coming out of the blue bird box, which had 5 eggs after I had last checked a few days earlier. I ran outside to shoo him off then immediately checked the footage I had been filming and sure enough, as I had always suspected in previous incidences, I had the "evidence" on film as to what had been happening to my blue bird eggs/chicks.

The male sparrow had gone inside, right after the female had left the box, and one by one, he pierced the eggs, and flew off with them - a couple of them had dropped to the ground. Male sparrows will also kill the blue birds if they happen to be inside the box and if the sparrow is more aggressive than most - the bluebird is trapped and can't get out.

However, I have also been filming a pair of Tree Swallows and House Wrens the same since 2013, and there is one thing that really stands about their nesting habits.

Both the swallows and wren parents do not leave the nest unattended once they have eggs and chicks hatched. One of them is either in the box, on top of the box, or at a nearby branch AT ALL TIMES.

The Blue Birds however, constantly leave their nest unattended and for several minutes (5 to 15 minutes at a time). Unfortunately, that's because the male bluebird is not coming frequently enough to feed the female while she is incubating or sitting on the chicks, so she has to risk leaving the nest to eat for herself or the chicks.

The amount of times I have seen on film the male returning just once in a while to feed, usually not for 45-minutes to an hour, and the poor female is sitting in the opening waiting for his return, but ends up having to leave several times during that period.

Bottom line, male Bluebirds don't appear to be as attentive as the male Swallows and Wrens.

May 22, 2016
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Sad my females bluebirds keep disappearing
by: Anonymous

I had the most friendly pair of bluebirds this Spring nest in a box in our yard. They sat on a Shepards hook I had placed in front of my window and they could see their reflection. They were so much fun to watch.

The female had laid 4 eggs and about 1 1/2 weeks before they hatched the female came up missing. I was so sad. The male male started acting strange and I realized after some research he was wooing another female. He did attract another one (she was not as friendly and much more skidish) so I went ahead and removed the old eggs since she starting to build on top.

The new female laid 4 eggs and I'm so sad that she is now missing. They were due to hatch this week. I cannot figure out what is happening to the females. The nest looks untouched and eggs are not broken. I haven't seen any feathers or anything unusual around nest. Now the male is not coming around.

I did see him after female was missing but I guess he has gone in search of a new place. I wish I could figure out what has happened to both females with the same thing happening to both. My neighbor has a cat but I would have thought I would have seen feathers.

I've never seen a snake in our yard but have seen hawks. Any suggestions? I hope to get more to nest.

May 19, 2016
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Eggs in Nest
by: Mark

I have two sets of Blue Birds in the Box so far this year. The Second set laid three eggs, next morning I found the Dad dead in the yard and no sighting of the Mother. Today I have another set of Blue Birds going into the box, should I remove the old eggs so they can use it or let them handle it? Thanks

May 16, 2016
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Home invasion also
by: Mary Ann

Same thing happened to us. There where 3 eggs.They hatched, everything was fine for about a week, then all of a sudden everything was gone. No birds no nest no sign of struggle! Totally baffled as to what may have happened. So sad! This was our first bluebird sighting at our house in 40 yrs!

May 06, 2016
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Your nest may have chicks now
by: Anonymous

I have been monitoring my blue birds all day long daily with a camcorder plugged in since they first started building their nest. and there's 5 eggs in the nest due to hatch this weekend.

They have "allowed" me to check the box periodically after the female leaves to see how many eggs she laid so I could then know when to estimate they would hatch.

The fact that your birds are being fiercely protective leads me to believe the eggs have hatched.

In past years I've been doing this, bluebirds are quick to abandon the nest if the eggs or chicks are removed by HOSP, as there is no longer a need to defend the nest.

May 05, 2016
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not sure what is going on
by: Anonymous

Have nest...should have babies by now. Bluebirds still defend the nest, but I have seen other birds (HOSP) around the box. It not where I can see it directly, but can see the activity above it. Bluebird daddy has been shooing away other birds from the immediate area and mealworms I provide, but he won't let me get near the nest to check that all is ok. Anyone suggest anything further? A friend just told me as long as they are dive bombing me...all ok. But I am not so sure.

Apr 29, 2016
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bluebirds are faithful
by: Anonymous

Last year the eggs somehow got knocked out of our bluebirds nest, one was broken, but they have returned this year.

Apr 29, 2016
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bluebirds are faithful
by: Anonymous

I will say that your bluebirds will certainly be back!! I had eggs fall out of nest one year and they were back the next.

Apr 23, 2016
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House Sparrows
by: Gene

See: sialis.org

Apr 23, 2016
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Sad!
by: Anonymous

I had a pair of bluebirds nest and hatch 4 babies in my bluebird box.Very excited because I didn't see any last year. I had been watching these everyday, but this morning I went out and I saw a bird fly out of the box. I knew it was not a bluebird. I opened the box and found all four babies dead. I am so sad. They was getting ready to fly. The bird I saw was a darn sparrow. How can I keep the sparrows from destroying my bluebirds!!!

Mar 30, 2016
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Male Bluebird
by: Gene

I think he will be there when the time comes. If you decide to move the sparrow spooker be prepared to fight the sparrows off. They'll kill the female if they want the nesting box bad enough. That would be worse than the male not participating, which I doubt will. -Good Luck

Mar 30, 2016
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Is male bluebird abandoning female after eggs laid?
by: Anonymous

Hi-

I have what appears to be the same bluebird pair come back to nest in a different box in my yard this year.

These two have always been together by coming to my feeder & when building their nest, etc. However, I have seen him in the last few days, but not anywhere around her or the nest box. He'll come to my courtyard to get mealworms or drink from the bird bath, but then flies off somewhere else while she is either in the box or perched up in the tree where she can see the box.

It's as if they broke up. I'm worried that she's being left alone to deal with the situation. He doesn't come around to feed her or attend to her at all & I never see him perched up in the tree nearby like he was before.

I put up the sparrow spooker after the 2nd egg & I'm wondering if he doesn't like it as I didn't have it last year when they nested in the courtyard.

I'm perplexed as to what is happening. Has anyone ever encountered this? Should I tie up the streamers on sparrow spooker or take it down to see if he returns? I'm just afraid that once the babies hatch, she'll be on her on.

I keep thinking, "No, of course he'll be there with her, but why isn't he with her right now when he always has been?" Like I said, I saw him twice today, but completely ignoring her & the nesting site. Please help! Very concerned!

Nicole

Mar 15, 2016
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Our first blue birds but they left the day of fleging
by: Saundra

We put up a box last year but no takers, we think it was too late in the season. This year a pair moved in and laid 5 eggs. All 5 hatched on Feb 25 and fledged on March 14 but we did not see it happen.

We saw 2 trying to fly in our very small back yard late morning and realized that was why the parents were so aggressive at us but at this time also noted the male was not around only the female with these 2. (The last week before fledging I do not open the box to count babies just assumed still had 5).

In the afternoon there were no blue birds in our yard and have not seem any sign of any blue birds adults or babies since that day, we hope they made it to a meadow that is football field away from our home.

Walked around that area no sign of bluebirds nor any bluebird chirps. Emptied the box of very flattened dirty nest, will disinfect tomorrow.

We have a birdbath water moving in it never used nor ate the mealworms. Why did they leave will they come back with the babies? We hope they will use the box again.

Jan 12, 2016
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Where are my bluebirds
by: Cyn

We have successfully raised many clutches of bluebirds throughout the summer months for years but this last year I filmed two male bluebirds fighting - just rolling around on the ground. The "new" male won the fight (he was much shier about taking meal worms) and after those babies fledged, I haven't seen a bluebird on our property. I usually see many of them around the bird bath but not this winter so far. I sure hope they come back.

Aug 23, 2015
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Bluebird House Modification
by: Suebee

We have been blessed with a bluebird couple that has successfully raised 4 clutches (15 baby bluebirds) this past year; with only one baby lost.

After the first clutch, we noticed predators so close to nest box and fledglings not quite strong enough the first few days to manage effectively outside the box without being at risk. At the hardware store, we purchased a small, square wooden dowel. We measured, cut, and attached the small piece into the inside of the box, approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the nestbox on the back (think exercise bar).

We have seen subsequent fledglings pushing off the bar, testing their wings inside the nestbox, then fledging from the box by flying to the nearest tree instead of dropping to the ground.

Once your birds do fledge, it has been our experience that the parents hide them well out of sight for 1-3 weeks. We had a ton of Hawks around and the first week or so we try to help the parents out by being present to shoo them away. Hope this helps.

Aug 03, 2015
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Yay, Bluebirds Fledged
by: Rosanna

I am so elated that, after 3-years of trying, I finally had a successful family of bluebird chicks (4) fledge last week (at 17-days since hatching)....and I got it all caught on video. I had my video camera filming them everyday from the time they built their nest.

Since this is the first time I have had success, I didn't know what to expect and when reviewing the footage later that night, I was very surprised to find the chicks "jumped" out of the box instead of flying out like the Tree Swallows.

They didn't appear to be able to fly at all, but must have eventually made their way to the hedgerow at the edge of our yard because later on that's where I had seen the adult bird flying around and screeching while I was checking my vegetable garden nearby.

But prior to that, I had gone over to the one chick that I actually did see at the base of the tree right behind my back porch, which I later believed was probably the last chick. At first I didn't know it was the bluebird chick, and was thinking it was an injured bird, but then one of the bluebird parents started screeching like crazy and dive-bombed me all the way back to my back porch.

Now I know what to expect for next year, LOL

Aug 02, 2015
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Bluebirds success
by: Anonymous

I learned the hard way not to put a bluebird nestbox on a fence. Afterwards, the people at Wild Birds Unlimited told me I needed to mount the nestbox on a pole, but they failed to tell me I needed a raccoon baffle. All in all, I learned the hard way with two unsuccessful attempts.

I read about a sparrow spooker, and my husband was able to make a halo above the top of the box and attach it to a wire to the pole. I used fishing wire to hang from the halo---only about five pieces. This is supposed to discourage sparrows from invading the nest.

By the third try, it was July in Texas with record high temps, so I put up reflective material that I got at an RV place to put in the windows of RVs. It worked---even in record high temps!!!

I had several layers around the house and on the top bc according to what I've read, my nestbox wasn't made with thick enough wood for high temps.

Well, after all of that, I had three baby bluebirds leave the nest yesterday. SUCCESS!!!!!

Jul 23, 2015
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Double Nest
by: Vicki

Rosanna, I think that birds are often the predators. Our first nest this year had unfertilized eggs in it and we didn't realize until the parents built a new nest on top of the old one (I pulled the old eggs out eventually and checked them).

But this second nest on top of the first raised the nest so high that predator birds could reach right in and pick out babies easily, even without a perch (I believe a blue jay was responsible). We added a longer predator guard and removed the two empty nests immediately and ultimately got a third clutch.

There were five babies and we lost one mysteriously (completely missing from the nest), but the other four made it to fledge (although the neighbor thinks a cat got one on the day it fledged. Sigh).

It's so heartbreaking when you lose one, but so rewarding when you see them at your feeder a couple of weeks after they leave the nest.

Jul 22, 2015
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Bluebirds still thriving
by: Rosanna

Since monitoring my bluebirds with a video camera virtually all day long (with outdoor power cable and 128G flash card), I am, first of all, relieved to still see all four chicks in the nest, and they are now starting to stick their wide open beaks towards the opening.

However, when reviewing the footage each night, there have been several species of birds perching on top of the wooden post that the box is attached to, and they try to stretch around the front to see inside but they keep losing their balance (there is no perch to rest on) and then fly off.

I bought me a new camera and long range telephoto lens to capture the moment the chicks start to get big enough to poke their heads out - this is a big deal for me as I have been trying for three seasons to get bluebirds to successfully raise a clutch to fledging.

Each of the previous years, there have been three attempts per season and each time they were killed by predators almost after hatching.

This will be the first time they have reach this milestone - they are now 10-days old.

Jul 22, 2015
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vanishing baby bluebirds
by: Anonymous

I had a family of five beautiful baby blues almost ready to leave the nest. I went out to check on them and found the nest empty. The guilty party was a large King snake which was still in the chickadee house near by.

Jul 17, 2015
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BlueBirds snatched by Kestrel
by: Rosanna

I experienced the same "disappearance" with my Bluebirds a month or so ago. Although I didn't witness the actual event, I did notice a Kestrel perched right in front of the nest box opening and I shooed him away, hoping he couldn't get his head in there to do anything.

However, several hours later, the bluebird parents stopped coming so I checked the box and all the chicks were gone. When I researched online about kestrels, I found out that when they perch in front of the box, the chicks think the parents are coming to feed them so they stretch their necks up to the opening, and then kestrel is then able to snatch them out.

On previous occasions I have had English Sparrows get into the nest and throw out the chicks.
I am currently on the third nesting of Bluebirds this season, don't know if they are the same pair
but so far it has been a week since the chicks hatched and they are still in the box.

I am monitoring them more closely and also have a video camera running virtually all day to "witness" the goings on in case something happens again.

Jun 11, 2015
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Try a predator guard
by: Anonymous

I am sorry about your babies! I went through it last month. This site helped me figure out the issue: http://www.sialis.org/predatorid.htm. I have added a longer predator guard and we have a new nest due to hatch on Monday, so I'm hoping I've solved the issues on my bluebird box.

Jun 11, 2015
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What happened ?
by: Name Ursula

The bluebirds had a beautiful nest in the bluebird box where chickadees successfully raise a brood.

Two bluebird babies hatched and were growing up nicely. This morning I saw a smaller bird entering the box and saw something hanging out of the entrance. It was a the body of one of the babies.

The other baby was nowhere to be seen. Yesterday when I checked the box it looked as it was almost ready to leave the nest.

Did I invite invaders by putting mealworms out for them two days ago in a cup that attaches to the pole?

I am really sad.

Jun 03, 2015
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First bluebird family!
by: Tina

There are 3 bluebird houses in the neighborhood. My pair fledged 3 chicks. Mama bird immediately built another nest. Two weeks went by with no sign of them. Then they were back.

Many birds looked in the nestbox and one wren even removed some of the nest Mama bluebird made. She paid them no mind and then went off again.

I read they will sometimes build multiple nests and only use one. After another week I looked in the box and saw the empty nest so I removed it, wanting for at least some little bird to use it.

Another week went by and now a different pair of bluebirds are frantically building away. :) The male is much brighter and smaller than the other Daddy bluebird, and he flaps his wings around when he gets around his lady like a fledgling does. So, maybe its a newly matched pair and this is their very first brood together. I hope nothing tragic happens.

May 13, 2015
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Think I figured it out
by: Name

I think it was a blue jay. I've seen one around, and they will apparently take some (but not all) of the nestlings without disturbing the nest. In the past, the jays couldn't reach the nest, but because this pair built the second nest on top of the unhatched eggs/first nest, the nest was raised quite a bit making the babies easy pickings. We will be adding a different predator guard.

May 12, 2015
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More info
by: Vicki

The box, an Eastern bluebird box from Wild Birds Unlimited, is on the back of our mailbox post. We've had nests there for two years without any issues. We have a predator guard, and it's highly unlikely snakes would be in that area (and I have mothballs around the property which has kept us snake-free for a few years--knock on wood).

Haven't see raccoons in several years. We do have neighborhood cats, but our living room looks out on the box and we've never seen them around it (of course, we have no idea what they are up to at night).

The parents are still here and as of this morning, the lone chick is doing fine. I read that the parents can remove young before they are 8 days old and wonder if this is the case, given the nest was undisturbed and one baby was left.

I can't find any instances on the internet where there were survivors after a predator attack. This same pair laid 5 eggs last month, and when they didn't hatch after 14 days, built another nest over them and laid five new eggs.

I eventually pulled the original eggs out and checked them---all were simply yolks and a tiny undeveloped mass. With this most recent nesting, four hatched and the fifth did not.

I pulled that one out after 4 days and again it was just yolk and a small mass. I wonder if there is a genetic defect? And if so, was something wrong with the other three babies? We are so sad, but it has been a good teaching moment for our four year old twins about nature and survival of the fittest. I am so nervous for that last baby, though.

May 12, 2015
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Entrance Hole and Baffles
by: Gene

Entrance holes should be 1.5 inches for Eastern Bluebirds.

Baffles are recommended to be 4 feet off the ground.

See:Baffles

Entrance Hole Protectors

May 11, 2015
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may be a raccoon!
by: Anonymous

Raccoons did the same thing to my bluebird nest last year and this is how we fixed it… make sure you have a baffle stovepipe that is 3 feet wide, and place it 1 1/2 feet above the ground all the way around the tree or pole, the raccoons will shimmy up the tree and reach in and grab the eggs or babies… also make SURE the entrance to the house is 1 1/4 inch round and 2 inches thick! so the raccoon can't bend it's arm and reach in also protects mom and dad….I hope this helps!

May 11, 2015
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I bet a raccoon…
by: Name

I'm not sure where you live, but it could be a raccoon which is what reached in my bluebird houses and pulled out all the eggs but one… and mom and dad NEVER returned to the house… I cried for a month, I was so upset, but now we have 3 foot stove pipe 1 1/2 feet up from the ground around the base of the trees and poles all branches near by cut way back, and I was told that the entrance to the bluebird house HAS to be 2 inches thick to keep the raccoons arm from bending into the house and grabbing everything inside! Also, protects mom and dad but they could suffer trauma! The stovepipe baffle at the bottom of the tree or pole prevents any raccoon or squirrel from going up the tree to the house…That happened to me last year and this year, I saw the male bluebird trying to get the female to stay but they didn't stay and I was so sad, so it's worth it to protect them! Baffles and 2 inches thick on the entrance including the house! Raccoons are the culprits most of the time, house wrens and sparrows also…hope this helps, go ahead and put up the baffle even if they are still there in house, it's better then seeing them die….

May 11, 2015
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Guards
by: Gene

Do you have a predator guard under the house? Do you have bird netting to prevent snakes from climbing up to the house?

House Sparrows will also throw the young out of a house and must be controlled.
See Sialis.org

May 11, 2015
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All but one gone!
by: Vicki

We had four babies, and today they were 6 days old. All but one is gone! The nest is not disturbed and there are no feces or other clues in the box. Mom and Dad are still here. So sad and curious about what got three but not the fourth. And will it be back to finish the job?

Apr 26, 2015
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Maybe still to cold...
by: Anonymous

I went down to our Bird Store and they told me that the blue birds are still moving around because of the cold weather, we are a good month or more behind….I bet they will BOTH be back, at least you have the male, I haven't got either one of them! I'm sad. Wow, I just realized how much these little sweet blue birds have our hearts tied up in knots! Just love them… good luck.

Apr 25, 2015
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When will blue birds start to nest?
by: Anonymous

I live in Midcoast Maine, it is still quite cold, 2 weeks ago when it was a warm day, I saw and heard a male blue bird in my back yard! He was singing and dancing and calling the female but no sign of her, then he disappeared too…I have blue birds houses and had a couple of blue birds nesting last year and was hoping they would come back, has anyone seen blue birds in Maine and are they nesting yet?

Apr 11, 2015
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Bluebird Tragedy??
by: Anonymous

Our bluebirds came built a nest and then they were gone for good 10 days. Since a week they are back but today I observed that the male bird was very attentive at the nest however I did not see the female bird. Before dawn I looked again still no female and the male was desperately calling her at the nest site. What happened? Are females or males leaving for a while? I feel so sad.

Jul 25, 2014
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Lawn mower tragedy
by: Susan

I am so sad and mourning that I cannot even cry. Our Bluebirds have been trying to coax the only 2 babies they had, out of the box.

We have been carefully watching with such excitement for days now. Today I had to mow. Riding lawn lower. I knew (or thought) one baby was in the tree.

As I mowed close to the garden wall, I turned to see a baby bluebird. The mower cut the grass and exposed what I then realized was a dead baby bluebird.

He was intact but the tire must have crushed him. I am waiting for my husband to come home to bury him. I left him on a rock so the parents would see they had a dead baby.

Will they mourn? Will they accept my apologies to the universe? I am so sad and my heart hurts.

There must still be one baby in the box as the parents are still on it periodically and feeding mealworms.

I just feel awful and will always look carefully at the grass near walls and such before I mow or I may never mow again.

Jul 05, 2014
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Keeping a distance from birdhouse with mower
by: Anonymous

Just my opinion… but if the birdhouse has been put back up and the nest and eggs that didn't break are in the nest…. the parents may come back and take care of the other eggs.. but if all the eggs broke, that is total despair and I have heard that you wait a few days and then clean out the nest completely in hopes that the parents return and try again.

I have NOT seen my blue birds since tragedy of a raccoon climbed the tree ( now there is a 2 foot baffle ) and raided the nest, my heart is still broken.

I hope they come back next year, good luck with your situation, so so sad….

Jul 04, 2014
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despair
by: Anonymous

that evening:

----- no sign of broken eggs,yolk,fluid,shells
yet
nest remains

do they eat what is left or carry it off somewhere?

i hope they come back and try again,and that spot another chance

Jul 04, 2014
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despair
by: Anonymous

bird house pole hit by lawn mower and house tumbled down breaking eggs. so sad. what do BB parents do, do they grieve? do they clean it up or wait and see if any may hatch?
what do they feel, what is process of nature?

Jun 23, 2014
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OLD 'snake deterrent from Grandma"
by: Carol, Lady Lake,FL Carol- Lady Lake, FL

So sorry and saddened by the tragic loss of all your precious little 'joys' we love.

I have had good results repel snakes (FLA has more snakes than any in USA!! Didn't know that til I moved here!!

My grandma was a Native American Shawoman in the Cheyenne nation. I told her of my fear and sincere hatred of these creatures. She revered all creatures; even snakes...ugh!

She suggested a good substance to repel my arch enemy....Herbs and plants for this are not available here! Then she told me to use MOTH BALLS where I wanted to keep snakes away!

I tied a net bag full of moth balls 2ft. up the wood post under the blue bird house. SO FAR (2 Years) no tragedies; although I have seen different varities of snakes near and under the post....THEY quickly met their demise!

Beneficial to some people but I will kill any snake in a heart beat! It works here..try it.

Jun 23, 2014
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Snakes...
by: Anonymous

May I ask where you live? We live in Maine, and I still don't KNOW what got our sweet Bluebirds, but we think it's a raccoon which I trapped and relocated!

I keep hearing about snakes and the only ones I know of that might go up a pole or baffle have been snakes from the SOUTH… we only have small garden snakes and a brownish snake which is a little bigger but I have only seen one a couple of times in my lifetime… someone had mentioned going and buying a bunch of netting and bunching it to either fluffing it out to make a net baffle so the snakes slither into it and can't back out!

It's somewhere in these messages written here! Good luck, it seem there are so many odds against them that we have to stay 2 steps ahead of the predators so the bluebirds have a chance!

Jun 20, 2014
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What got the Bluebirds.
by: Anonymous

It was so exciting. I saw four eggs, then they hatched, oh how cute! Went to get pictures two days later, nothing.

I cleaned the remaining nest and the male finally convinced the female to try again. Four blue eggs and now four cute baby bluebirds but this evening I nearly lost them again.

A black snake was up the metal pole set to go in. I hollered and my son carried him off to another location. Now I need to figure out how to keep the snakes out.

Jun 07, 2014
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Hi Kelly thank you!
by: Anonymous

My email is Jdugas @ maine.rr.com if you could send any pictures to help me that would be great thank you so much

Edited by Wild-Bird-Watching:
Spaces were added to prevent you getting more spam.

Jun 03, 2014
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You are most welcome.........
by: Kelley

My first suggestion would be not to hang the box on a tree. We made that mistake early on and lost some eggs to a cat we think. Anything can climb the tree or jump from another. Little red squirrels can get anywhere. I would be very happy to send you a picture of our setups. I can't figure out how to post a picture here. Drop me your email and I can send you some if you wish.

It seems that as soon as you think you have it all figured out, something else is around the corner trying to mess with our little bluebirds. We have made mistakes along the way but we have had a lot of success the last couple of years.

As for the parents I would guess they are still in the area. I would keep feeding the meal worms. I can give you a picture of our set up with the feeder as well.

The website that has helped us very very much is www.Sialis.org. Really good information there.

Any other questions, I would be glad to help.

Jun 02, 2014
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Thank you….
by: Anonymous

We have a raccoon here at our home… we installed 2 foot stove pipe 1 and 1/2 feet off the ground going up the tree, every inch of the tree is covered for the 2 feet of pipe around the tree, no raccoon will do this again…we have a one inch guard on the hole in the nesting box with a metal circle so nothing can break or chew the hole bigger.

You said you used a 7 inch stove pipe guard.. any chance you can post a picture of what your nesting box looks like with that on it?

Or a website to look at it? Do the birds have a hard time entering the nesting box? Thank you so much for the information, what do you think happened to the parents? Did the raccoon kill them? there are NO feathers or blood here at all….thank God. Maybe they will come home…? It hurts to think this happened but I want to know, I wasn't even sleeping I was so upset.

The bluebirds were with me for a month. They are enchanting blue spirits, little angels of joy. I hope they come back...

Jun 02, 2014
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My best guess is a raccoon
by: Kelley

The same situation happened to us in 2012. It was a raccoon. Thankfully, we had installed a video camera inside the box.

In the early morning hours a raccoon bypassed our squirrel guard and destroyed the eggs. Here is the clip we posted on YouTube: http://youtu.be/mL8RKbpTxsg

After that incident, we installed a true raccoon guard using 7 inch stove pipe. You can buy raccoon guards at specialty stores but we made our own.

In regards to the sparrow problem. We have dealt with that as well. We use a "Sparrow Spooker" once the first bluebird egg has been laid.

It consists of dowels and metallic streamers. We make them ourselves and have had great success. Please google "Sparrow Spooker" and you'll get the general idea.

We have also struggled for years and have learned many hard lessons. Please don't give up. The rewards are well worth it.

Jun 02, 2014
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It's been a week and 2 days now and still no sight of either parent.
by: Anonymous

I discovered an egg in the very bottom of the nesting material when I took the nest out…Someone told me that a raccoon could have sat on the roof of the nest and reached in to grab the eggs or babies, but seems to me there would be some disruption to the nest and or trauma to the nesting box or broken egg shells.

I don't know if there were babies in the nest yet. Could have been a hawk but would he have gotten both of them at the same time? I doubt it.

Also, someone told me that sparrows will kill the babies and peck out the eggs and kill momma bluebird right on the nest or scare her away. I actually cried about this.

I have waited for 17 years for bluebirds and they were with me almost a month, so beautiful and lovely.

One more thing, I have heard of a round sphere that hangs above the nesting box with fish lines hanging about 2 feet down and every couple of inches that you can make and put up.

They said that sparrows DON'T like it but bluebirds are fine with it. I am willing to try anything to help them.

May 27, 2014
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Where are they? They were right here!
by: Anonymous

Have been watching mom and dad bluebirds now for 3 to 4 weeks. They love the mealworms, dried and live that I have put out in a special feeder for them.

They starting coming to the feeder a little less these last few days, I figured they were just really busy with their babies, this was on a Saturday and Sunday when we came home from camp they were GONE!

Both parents gone, not a trace, not a feather, nothing. I finally opened the nesting boxes and only the nests were there, no babies no eggs no egg shells, nothing and no baby feathers. What happened?

Where did they go in one night, we got home at 10:00am the day after we saw them! Should I removed their nest so they can rebuild? or leave them?

We have a hawk around but I have an air horn and if he comes near I blast him with it. Works great, I would have seen some feathers somewhere! Nothing, the nesting boxes have NO trauma or scratches on them, I am heartbroken….. Yarmouth, Maine


Jun 03, 2013
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Same thing
by: Julia

The same thing happened here, also Nashville. They built nest, laid eggs, later flew in and out frequently as is they were feeding babies. I checked the nest and it was in disarray. Removed it. No sign birds had ever been in it. No baby birds in nearby tree as in past years. Cleaned house. They built another nest but no eggs. Then a wren built a nest on top of BB nest. Removes both and cleaned house again.

Mar 13, 2013
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Hummingbird protection
by: Anonymous

Twice now baby hummingbirds in nests in my hedges have been eaten right before they were ready to leave the nest. First by crows then by roadrunners. Is there anything I can do to prevent it? So heartbreaking!!

Jan 01, 2013
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Will They Come Back?
by: Eileen

I had bluebirds all around the first two years of living in our new home. We have not seen them again in two years. I think they were pushed out by all the sparrows. :(

Will they come back if I set out nesting boxes?

Can anyone give me a link to pre-made (and correct) bluebird houses?

By: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

If you keep the House Sparrows out by removing their nest or by trapping. If you live in a rural area you can probably also shoot the House Sparrows.

We also offer a birdhouse through Duncraft that is made of recycled materials and will last for years.

https://www.wild-bird-watching.com/wbwbluebirdhouse.html

They have plenty of other types if you want to look, just follow the link on the above page.

Once we became serious about the House Sparrows and the European Starlings we have an abundance of native species including a Purple Martin colony that took 4 seasons to start.

Good luck.

Gene
www.wild-bird-watching.com

May 08, 2012
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Would she stay alone?
by: Laura Word

I am a first time bluebirder. The birds appeared like magic one day as though they fabricated from the bluebird post box itself.

They've been there and busy for weeks. The nest is lovely and I've only checked twice for fear of scaring them.

But the male has been absent for the last three days- at least I haven't seen him anywhere, and he's usually right near by.

If something's happened to him, would she stay here all by herself? I know she's there because she comes out to get the meal worms that I bring her.

No sign of her partner though. Strange how much interest they stir in a person. I hope he shows up. Might he disappear for periods? Could I be missing him just because there's more foliage suddenly?

~ Missing the missing.

Apr 21, 2012
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Where are my bluebirds?
by: Anonymous

We have two bluebird houses and it had been so much fun watching them work diligently build their nest. I can't see inside (they are too high). For a week I am not seeing a bluebird in the area. I saw a chickadee checking out one house yesterday. What could have happened?

Jun 22, 2011
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Bluebird attack
by: Nick

It is very tragic to hear of your loss. I have had bluebirds nesting on our property since the summer of 2004, but the years before that the house sparrows either killed or chased them off.

From what you have said it is a pretty good chance that a house sparrow got in there killed and threw the babies out, which they will do and probably either killed momma somewhere or chased her off.

It is very sad but you can help them by removing any sparrow nests. If this happens again, remove their nest and clean the box because most likely they will not use that nest again, but they will use the box again.

May 18, 2011
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Why babies died?
by: Mary

5 baby blue birds in the box, checked on them from when they were 5 eggs till they hatched. I check on them every other day. They were about 10 days old, looked real healthy. My thoughts in about 5 to 8 days they would be coming out of the box. I checked on them in the morning all 5 were dead. I picked them up to see if they were just sleeping, they were not. I don't know what happen to them. So sad. I am hoping the mother and dad will come back to the box.

May 11, 2011
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bluebird tragedy
by: Anonymous

I check on my bluebirds daily except right before they are ready to fledge just so I don't cause them to fledge early. My first bluebird family experience I didn't check up on for day 17 or 18.

Day 19 I was curious because I saw the mom panicking and flying around the box but never actually landing on it. I opened the box really slowly and found myself face to face with a snake.

He had eaten all four of my babies. It was of course his last meal but I am still puzzled as to how he got up there considering I had a baffle and the house was not under a tree or anything...I have a cone shaped baffle on my other bluebird house that has five eggs in it so I am hoping it works better!

Wild-Bird-Watching.com Says:

A cone shaped baffle will not prevent snake attacks. Consider purchasing some deer/bird netting. (available at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes,etc.)

It's used to protect plants from deer and birds. Ball a larger bunch of this netting up and attach it to your post, then fluff it out.

Snakes will have to crawl through the mesh and will get tangled in it as they cannot back out.

We use this method to protect our Purple Martins.

Do a search like: using bird netting against snakes - You might get a picture of what I'm suggesting.

Apr 28, 2011
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Tragedy
by: Anonymous

Look out for bluejays. I saw them in the act of killing and eating hatchlings. I saved the rest of the clutch and brought them to a local Wildlife Rescue organization. Amazingly, they had over 50 babies in care at the time.

Apr 06, 2011
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they will come back
by: sylvia

Yes, they will nest again...
We watch blue birds..Same thing happened to my daughters babies. twice....So she went to Lowes and bot' a metal protector that goes around the pole to keep predators away. We never knew what got the babies. but w/n a week they had started rebuilding again..

Jul 23, 2010
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bear raid
by: Anonymous

We had a pair of bluebirds using our box for the first time this summer. They built nests in two, but had not laid any eggs, then a marauding black bear tore down all three boxes! The male came back for one day but seems to have left now. We hope they'll try again next year. Any suggestions for keeping the bear away. We have no feeders up in summer here.

May 23, 2010
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Our guess is......House Wrens
by: Kelley

We have nesting pairs of bluebirds as well. One of our nest boxes was occupied by a black-capped chickadee. We welcome all birds but House Sparrows so we were fine with the chickadee using one box. We check our boxes daily.

The chickadee had 5 nestlings that were 4 days old. The next day...GONE!! We couldn't figure out what happened. Then we witnessed a House Wren trying to build a nest right over the chickadee nest.

Additional online research revealed it is common for the House Wren to toss the babies out. They are competing for food and the less competition the better.

If the babies are tossed out possibly a predator most likely ate them while on the ground. Keep a look out for a House Wren in the area!

May 01, 2010
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My own sad tale....
by: Anonymous

I've been watching my bluebirds nest for weeks now. Finally I see mom and dad bringing food into the nest. I walked around a few days later and spotted a baby dead on the ground. Opened the birdhouse and it was cleaned out. No sign of anything. What could have happened? I'm so sad.

Apr 17, 2010
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baffle size?
by: Anonymous

How long is your baffle? I have seen recommendations of at least 24 inches to keep out raccoons. The same thing happened to two different bluebird couples in two of my nest boxes last year. I am looking for a good baffle now to prevent this from happening again. I believe my nestlings were taken by raccoons.

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