Strange Brown Pebble Like Things in Bluebird Nest

by Lucy Conner
(Tallahassee Florida )

We put up our first blue bird house this spring and by May we had a beautiful family making their nest.

It was so exciting watching them, mostly the female, diligently building their little home.

The eggs were laid and we watched the adults soar into the hole to feed the babies and clean out the nest.

The precision in which they fly into the box is incredible! We spent hours watching them.

We kept a great supply of food out for them; suet and mealworms, and watched them for hours.

We watched them every day for weeks throughout the entire process until they became like family to us. Then they were gone!

We went out to clean the box and noticed about six or seven small, round, light brown pebble-looking things in there.

something brown in bluebird house

Bluebird Nest with Brown Something in nest

A little bit of poop residue and nothing else.

Our neighbor also had the same things in her box after they left. Does anyone have any idea what it is?

Comments for Strange Brown Pebble Like Things in Bluebird Nest

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Maybe Shells for Grit
by: Gene

Hi Lucy,

It looks similar to the shells I find in my Purple Martins Nest after they fledge.

As birds do not have teeth, instead, some have gizzards that help grind their food. This "grit" helps the gizzard grind harder foods.

They adults will use sand, shells, small rocks and use them for their nestlings and themselves.

Not all they bring to the nest is used. They find the shells next to water sources such as lakes and pond shores.

I save egg shells that I place out for the birds during incubation as it helps for digesting food and provides calcium.

During egg laying the female birds need extra calcium.

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