Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Bluebird Eggs (Part 1)

In addition to Messages that have appeared in the Bluebird Mailing Lists on this topic, the following are on the Audubon Society of Omaha website:  Predators and Problems On The Bluebird Trail


Subj: eggs lost 7 days ago
Date: 6/10/99 7:52:13 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

When any bird losses it's nest they have 0 eggs in their oviduct to begin starting again! They will go through varying lengths of grief (not really correct) but they are confused for a few days. They will search around for a new nest site or simply remain with their old site, this is also variable. At the end of this time the egg laying process begins. Some think that the act of mating will trigger the female to eject a single egg from the ovary into the oviduct to begin growing. This is a tiny clump of cells which will grow into the yolk. This takes (?) days. ((I don't know of any exact research in bluebirds.)) It takes 24 hours to apply the calcium layer! Somewhere I have notes from banders which tells on average just how many days they have experienced between a batch of eggs disappearing and when the first egg is laid. I think it is in the 1014 day period at EARLIEST. You have to remember that this is different between successful nesting because they often anticipate the young about to leave and have already mated and are in the process of filling the oviduct with a string of fertilized cells well before the young from the previous nest are ready to leave.   If the pair is still defending the box they probably will chose it again. They maybe about to lay eggs so don't clean out a nest they may need in a few days! If you are worried place a new nestbox somewhere in the area or even two new boxes to give them a choice. You can move them further away or give them to neighbors if they don't chose them. (See how I got Haleya to add new boxes and spread Bluebird Fever!) Best of luck. KK


Subj: Calcium
Date: 6/12/99 8:01:50 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

In commercial potting soil mixes calcium is seldom added in a form the bluebirds would be interested in. Bone meal is coarse but too expensive and lime from million year old sea shells is normally crushed too fine. Wild animals do seem to possess a fifth sense about the location of minerals they need and how to get them. Maybe Fread could expand on this a little more. Everyone should save and crush eggshells where the birds can safely pick them up. many "breakfast" restaurants will save you buckets full of eggs shells if you regularly pick them up. KK


Subj: egg production/calcium
Date: 6/13/99 8:51:00 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant Texas

The month of May Texas egg production from 17.5 million laying chickens was 355 million eggs. Or 2,031 eggs per 100 laying hens for the 31 day period on average they laid just under 21 eggs per hen for the month.

Fread jogged my mind with his excellent post. We recommend using cracked corn or crushed oyster shells to treat icy sidewalks instead of salt or sand in our area to help the people and the birds in winter. The oyster shells can be purchased from farm feed stores for a couple bucks for a 50LB. bag about the same as a bag of sand! They also can be purchased by the ton or by the five gallon bucket here. All gardens should have 1 LB. per 10 SQ.FT. of either egg or oyster shells added each year for three years. Birds will pick up the pieces from the freshly tilled soil and the plants will have 3-5X more calcium in their fruits and leaves than a similar garden without this addition.

Hanta Virus: A fifth person this summer has just died from this virus in New Mexico. The virus is found in some nests of the white footed/deer mouse rodents, which sometimes use nestboxes for birds as a home. It seems to be more dangerous in the southwest and we covered this topic thoroughly this spring on the list but the new bber's might want to read up on this virus. Did anyone save the WebPages of this danger? All of my info is in print form. KK


Subj: Re:egg identification/Starlings removing young
Date: 6/21/99 11:13:25 PM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

cowbird eggs:They can be quite variable in coloring. I have seen them slightly larger and smaller than normal Eastern Bluebird eggs. You will get some color "bounce" off of the bluebird eggs making the other speckled egg blue also. Try shooting the egg by itself now and resend again. Yes I have had and Larry Zeleny and several others had cowbirds lay eggs in verified 1&1/2" round entrance holes. If you wait until the eggs hatch the cowbird will have "white" fuzz where as the bluebirds have black. There maybe other species of birds that could have similar young and eggs, why not let this youngster grow up and see what it becomes. Someone may have a first!

Starlings don't remove young for fun or food they are simply cleaning out a cavity for possible use as a nesting site. When your birds are 5-7 days old whistle at the entrance hole. many times even if they are in a shallow nest 4" or more from the entrance hole they will thrust their head right out the entrance and beg for food. This is when starlings, grackles, magpies, jays ETC. will grab them and drag them out. When the hole darkens often the young also reach for the hole. Day old chicks (which are blind) will stretch to double their laying down height to get fed. The chicks which reach the highest normally get fed first. In Linda's case the survivors learned to stay out of reach of the entrance hole. Measurements vary tremendously on birds. Some measure the at rest length and not how far they can stretch so I believe the Starlings have far greater reach than most believe.

Bluebirds: Harry Krueger and I encountered a pair of Eastern Bluebirds evicting a nest of 7 young Carolina Chickadees 5 days old along his trail. We watched the male enter and then exit the box carrying a chickadee baby in it's bill. It flew 70100 feet and dropped in along a barbed wire fence. I recovered the baby and it had a crushed head and was just about dead. We scared off the bluebirds checked the box and there were already 2 young missing, we drove 3 miles and returned with a hole restrictor and the bluebirds and chickadees were fighting now over an empty box. I have seen bluebirds attempting to remove large dead young from their box (they had the head out of the box but the body was stuck inside) I have never seen them remove a small dead baby but feel certain if it is 15 days old they could handle the removal. more mini cams will teach us a lot! KK


Subj: eggs that die hatching
Date: 7/9/99 1:11:14 AM Central Daylight Time
From: dputman"at"syix.com (dputman)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: dputman"at"syix.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu (bluebird)

Kevin Putman, Yuba City, CA

In working with wood ducks, I've found (over the years) hundreds of partially hatched (pipped), dead eggs among the remains of nests where10-20 ducklings fledged successfully. It always seems such a shame that anegg would develop for ~30 days, only to die while hatching. In large nests (where 2 or more hens deposit eggs) of 30-40 eggs, it is common to find as many as 10 eggs that die just after pipping.

I frequently visit a egg/duckling rescue facility, and the man who runs it (Derrold) handles up to 10,000 eggs a year. He's seen this phenomenon across other species of ducks, too. One thing that I've noticed--andDerrold concurrs--is that this "pip death" seems to be something that becomes acute when the temperature is high. Other eggs--ones that are not as far along in incubation--seem to handle the heat better and survive while pipping eggs seem to be more vulnerable to high temperatures. Perhaps the activity of hatching produces heat that, when combined with a high ambient temp., becomes too much for the chick. I don't really know--just something that Derrold and I have kicked around.

I've also found bluebird eggs that died hatching in such temperatures while other less developed eggs, in boxes nearby, did not. So it seems to apply to bluebirds, too.
 


Subj: Re:unhatched eggs
Date: 7/9/99 7:55:43 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Trying to help a bluebird chick out of an egg is a very delicate operation. If the egg is not already "pipped" you maybe a day too early! As has been mentioned, any egg not hatched with the others after 2 days is probably doomed anyway so nothing will be lost from trying. All birds have an egg tooth before hatching and they lose it within a matter of days after hatching. It is a tiny triangular projection on the TOP beak pointing up. To a certain extent the baby birds can twist & spin inside the egg and just before hatching they will press a series of "pips" or bumps from the inside out in a line near the center of the egg (between small end and large end) and just like a can opener they weaken this area and it will normally "pop" along this line that has been started and you will end up with two nearly equal halves of eggshells. I believe Kevin is on the right track mentioning the heat and losing so many young birds but I believe it is after the female has basically quit turning and incubating the eggs after she has a nest full of young already hatched. In the hatchery humidity is extremely important during the final days of incubation. Once the egg is "pipped" moisture is rapidly lost through the hole and if the female's breast is not kept in contact with the egg then her perspiration and feathers trapping the moisture, it will be lost and the chick's "fuzz" will dry to the egg and not allow it to turn inside the egg and finish the line of holes it needs to punch in order to escape. We have helped lots of baby bantam chicks (haven't tried it with bluebirds) in this predicament and have found that simply using a warm wet wash cloth wrapped around the bottom half of the egg or a light spray mist will often give enough moisture for the chick to break loose and continue punching holes and allow it to escape. High outside temperatures often go along with low humidity by mid day. Egg shells are an engineering marvel. Take a boiled chicken egg (raw if you are brave)and try to crush it between two fingers of one hand by pinching it directly from large end to small end, few people have the strength to break an egg this way although it takes almost no effort to crush it from the sides. These have evolved (or were created) to pop along the center of the egg where a chicks egg tooth will weaken it. I think I will go and try to crack a few eggs from the small or large end and see if I can break them 90* off from where they are designed to break! I will ponder this wonderful creation over breakfast! KK
 


Subj: Re: unhatched eggs
Date: 7/9/99 10:20:34 PM Central Daylight Time
From: scriv001"at"tc.umn.edu (Dorene Scriven)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: scriv001"at"tc.umn.edu
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Keith Kridler, as usual, has some insight into the "difficult" egg problem. Our  book, Bluebird Trails, does discuss eggs in some detail, both in the natural  history chapter and in the monitoring chapter. Chilled eggs and the resulting  glue-like mucous in the lining of the eggs make it difficult for the chick to break out of the egg shell. Other weather extremes,and humidity changes, also affect the ability to break out of the shell,and the timing of hatching.. There are some "first-aid" tricks one can employ on viable eggs with small cracks.
-Dorene Scriven, Minnesota BBRP
 


Subj: nest failure
Date: 7/12/99 9:05:43 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
With 11" of rain your bluebird eggs might have gotten fatally chilled with water blowing into the box or high temperatures in the last two weeks might have cooked them. If you have been checking the box every few days and know for sure when the last egg was laid then these eggs probably won't hatch.  The females will sometimes incubate for up to 6 weeks or longer if a rotten egg doesn't burst under them. If you are SURE about egg laying time & want the pair to have another chance at a successful nesting then remove ONE egg and break it to check for an embryo. If there are none then break a second egg. Check every egg just in case something "strange" was going on. I don't think that you have had that much "cold" weather but it sometimes does take 17 days for eggs to hatch in the south with cool weather and a poorly sitting female EABL. maybe Doreen could post a few thoughts on this since they & the Montana group can go from upper 90's*F to frost in the same week! What are "normal" hatching times during these types of temperature swings?

On my trail I tend to be overly cautious before removing "bad" eggs since I have been burned a couple of times. For instance my notes on one box showed only three glossy eggs (turned so much they were shiny and should hatch in a day or two) 21 days later still three glossy eggs so I pitched one out into the center of the road and it contained a live baby just about to hatch! Something had to have cleaned out the box right after I checked for them to have laid three more eggs and had them ready to hatch in 21 days. The two other eggs hatched the next day. In my area bad eggs will often have fly specks on the shell since the flies can smell the odors from a bad egg and sometimes a fair number of house flies or green bottle flies are sitting around on the box. Always give the bluebirds extra time before removing eggs and yes bluebirds in the south have plenty of time to renest one more time. KK
 


Subj: Re:pins and needles/8 eggs
Date: 7/12/99 3:42:59 PM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
My method of pitching the "bad" eggs into the street is instantly fatal. OUCH! That is why you need to be "sure" of bad eggs and not toss all at once!

8eggs:I had 7 out of 7 hatch in a 4"PVC box once but have heard of 8,9 &10 clutch size for eastern's but don't recall the most ever hatching. It would be rare to have all hatch at this late point in the season. Did all of the eggs have the same shape and thus look like the same female laid them? It is amazing with all the hundreds of monitors out there how many unusual nestings and quirks we run into every year! KK
 


Subj: RE: July 15
Date: 7/16/99 7:26:21 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler
Carolyn shows a very good example of why not to just toss the whole nest of "bad" eggs at once after they have been in the nest "too long". The 14 day hatching timetable only works if you can check every day or two. By checking once a week if a nest is cleaned out by something (only takes 15 minutes for many different predators) another female ready to lay eggs can enter the box and begin her clutch that same day IF the first pair abandon their box and move on. Did the A-C man check the box in-between your checks? If not then any five day period could have had a new clutch of eggs added. Always check for a second nest under the "new" eggs also before tossing!

Your June 14 to July 11 hatching time is really pushing the amount of time the eggs would remain viable to hatch in your summer heat. BB Eggs will hatch by 14 days if they are constantly incubated. I am betting on a different clutch of eggs than the first four you counted. Carolyn keeps good records but for all of you newcomers to the list this shows that if you don't check every 2 or 3 days and keep records then don't risk even a single egg when they exceed the 14 day time table. KK
 


Subj: egg at bottom nest/not fledged
Date: 7/15/99 7:39:26 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Have you cleaned your bird bath lately?

Egg at bottom of nest:By cleaning out the nest of the House Wren everyday, she was feverishly rebuilding knowing a series of eggs were moving through her body. She entered the box to lay an egg in a nest she had finished the day before and when no nest was there simply laid the egg on the bottom of the empty box and then promptly built a new nest for the next 4 or five eggs to come. It would not surprise me if there is another egg under another new nest today. This "birthing" is no different or even possibly less traumatic for this wren than if a human female were in the delivery chair and the doctor has just announced proudly that the baby's head is crowning and then the father rushes in and says the baby bed is still wet with fresh paint and tells the wife to hold off a few more days!!!!

Experts have told me about the small brain capacity of birds and that they do most things by instinct but I have seen Eastern Bluebirds exhibit Joy (with a song) Anger (at sparrows,predators & me near their families) Happiness (with a water sprinkler) and Sorrow (at the loss of eggs, young or nest) Communication (by calling even other bird species to gang up on a snake or cat near their box.) What if these lowly birds have a more complete understanding of the "Big Picture" of life and this world than I?? If I were as smart as these birds I would spend the day under the lawn sprinkler watching the clouds and butterflies drift by with an 11 year old son instead of going to pour concrete in 100*F weather!

20 days and still not fledged:As long as the adults are going to the nestbox they are feeding the young. Although they may feed the baby that reaches out of the entrance hole and not enter the box the last day or so they normally continue to feed all young strong enough to beg at the hole. I differ with those who say to NEVER open a nestbox after the 12-13 days range. Many of those on this list have opened the box in their yard 3 or more times a day since the first egg was laid.

The young and adults EXPECT you there! A quiet peek into the box will not be traumatic to the young. I would not and do not reach into a box once they can possibly leave the nest but don't you think that the young might not leave the nest early to see if their faithful monitorer is covered with head lice? Maybe one of the human children are sick or hurt and need a "Bluebird Hug", maybe they have become trapped in that hot car and can't get out? Maybe their A-C unit quit and they are cooking inside and need water on their roof! :-) Spend a few minutes today and look at us through a birds eye/brain and try to comprehend how silly human life is! Let us be a Bluebird today! Hug a child/friend, loan a smile, build a dream, give a wing wave and sing a song! Remember "IT" is to be found "Somewhere over the Rainbow!!!KK
 


Subj: Re: oddly shaped egg
Date: 7/16/99 8:55:05 PM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
The white is the nitrates from the birds feces. Should wear off in the nest in a few days. I have never seen a "bent" bluebird egg so this is an egg that should be kept after seeing if it will hatch ( I also doubt it will) and the small one 1/2 the size of a normal egg is also rare these will sometimes form without a yolk so cannot hatch. I have only seen 3 or 4 of them in over 10,000 eggs and never thought to keep one for show and tell!!! Carolyn maybe right and it may just be a new hen because the no yolk egg should be about the size of a chickadee egg or slightly larger. Pat yourself on the back for getting two once in a lifetime oddities! KK

Just reading up on "small" clutches of eggs from captive birds. Seems that even though they have sufficient calcium in their diet a shortage of vitamin D-3 or magnesium will prevent them from using the calcium in their diet so they rob their body. A female with these deficiencies while laying a clutch of eggs can go into shock and die. This may explain the smaller clutch size later in summer for bluebirds.
 


Subj: ODDLY SHAPED BLUEBIRD EGGS
Date: 7/16/99 7:35:39 PM Central Daylight Time
From: KCBSP"at"aol.com
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: KCBSP"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Kathy Clark
New Cumberland, PA 17070

On this trail there was a nest box which had five eggs and on return a week later (last week) they were buried in the nesting material. I figured they were probably abandoned or would be renested over and left things in place...just to see what had happened and left the eggs on top.

On return today on week later they were covered by a new nest with two eggs.  But these eggs were very oddly shaped...one almost looked like a neck pumpkin...These are bluebird eggs. The second egg was more oval not like a regular bluebird shape.  These eggs both were marked with white at the bottom...sort of splattered about..

Hope this makes some kind of sense to somebody.. Would it be your assupmtion that these probably are not going to hatch either?

In another nestbox there was a very tiny bluebird egg...it was only perhaps 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the other eggs... Does anyone have an explanation?
Thanks.
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 11:17:57 -0500
From: Lin Towler
To: "BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu."
Subject: Boyd Co.,KY - 2 BB pairs

I still have the two Blue Bird Pairs hanging around my place and each other. Wish there was some way I could "mark" them so I knew which pair was which!!! One completed nest on the high side of the hill, and a half completed one on the down hill side. Don't know for sure if this is a second nest of the one pair, or a nest from each pair. The boxes are about 200' from each other. Our weather has been gray, drizzling, and cool, tonight down to the 20's with a daytime high predicted of 48. A break for a few days with partly cloudy, then back to gray and rain drizzles. My tulips don't know whether to continue growing, or not!! I witnessed four BB's at a field on the way to work hunting insects through some tall grass and across a gravel road. Only see them perching or popping in and out of the boxes at my place, so far. Of course, we don't have any grass yet.....so I don't suppose I would see that there, YET!!! COME ON SPRING!!!!

Question: Is there a safe way to check for eggs in a nest? I mean, the side of the nest is 3 1/2' tall and I can't see all the way down into the nest bottom. (So, I'm short, ok!!) So if I reach in to check for eggs, what should I be aware (afraid) of finding in there, if anything? Or should I not touch but only look?

--
Lin Towler
Boyd County, KY
DeLorme Gazeteer
Page 41, B-10

 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 13:03:13 EST
From: Nuts4bb"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: How to check nests...

*Terrie in NW Ohio (Mt. Blanchard) 45 miles south of Toledo

Lin, I have the same problem checking a couple of my boxes. Most are OK,  some a little to tall to check when a nest is fully built. When you are checking for eggs you can put a very little pressure on the edge of the nest  to tilt. However, a safer way (and the only one I use after hatched) is a small mirror attached to a short (18" or so) dowel rod. You can angle the mirror above the nest to see exactly what is happening without disturbing eggs or young. Have fun! : )
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 16:09:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Marcy S
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: How to check nests

*Terrie in NW Ohio writes:
However, a safer way (and the only one I use after hatched) is a small mirror attached to a short (18" or so) dowel rod.

I was using an old compact mirror taped to a screwdriver. (what was I thinking!)but it worked. Now I use a Mechanics Mirror. They have them at Sears for about 8 dollars. What is nice about it is that the mirror swivels in all directions and the handle telescopes. You can really see what is going on. It has really paid for itself and has made monitoring my box much easier on me. Before I had to take a stepstool out to the box.

Marcy NE Ohio
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 17:04:15 -0500
From: "Bruce Burdett"
To:
Subject: Peering in.

From Bruce Burdett, in Sunapee, NH, headquarters village of the New
Hampshire Bluebird Conspiracy blueburd"at"srnet.com

Would it not make nest inspection easier and less disruptive if one were simply to lower the house (shorten the pole) to a height where one would not have to touch the nest at all? If the nest itself were about the height of the chin, or perhaps the Adam's Apple, of the Most Frequent Monitor, she (he) could just stand there and look in, and there would be no need for ladders, mirrors, nest-tilting, etc.. I have often read on this List and elsewhere that, in most instances, 5' (+-) from the ground is plenty high enough. (My own chin is about 6' from grade.)

If you are the type of man, however, who enjoys lifting women and girls bodily so that they can peek into the nests, then by all means do not lower your houses at all. I have known such men, though there are none in New Hampshire, and very few east of the Rockies.

Another 8" of snow this morning, to add to Saturday's 9". But I'm now getting first-sighting reports from Conspirators in many NH towns, including one from Sunapee itself. Of course, there are those on this List who contend that they are not "arriving in town", but simply "emerging from the forest." Who knows?
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 10:14:00 -0600
From: "Tena Taylor"
To: "BLUEBIRD-L"
Subject: Eggs No More!

From Tena Taylor, Calhoun County, Mississippi
Cold north wind blowing today! 45 degrees and cloudy

Ann's post prompted me to ask this question: If eggs are destroyed, as was the case with her, should that nest be removed or left? Will the bluebirds require a new nest or will they still use that one?
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 17:51:07 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Nichols"
To:
Cc:
Subject: Re: Eggs No More!

...

Hi Ann, Tena and all:

When I found a broken egg on the ground this year, I left the box alone. The female laid 4 more in the same nest and she has now been brooding the 4 eggs for 10 days. (Her normal clutch would have been 5 eggs). Needless to say, I made an insulated box cover March 12. Everything appears normal. Unless the female has completed her "laying" cycle, I would think we leave the nest alone & mother blueie will tell us what she intends to do.

Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD COLD, windy 45*
nest for her
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 20:52:12 -0800
From: "R_C Walshaw"
To: "Bluebird Listserve"
Subject: Egg checking question from Lin Towler

To make this easy for the checker the rule of thumb is to put the nest boxes up so the nests will be eye high. I carry a small plastic stool when I am showing nests to children.
 


Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 23:11:39 EDT
From: "Rwatts"
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: re checking nests

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.
Rained all night, snow by 4:30 A.M. Snowed all day, not a bluebird in sight. Hard to believe I heard 2 peepers last night!

I imagine this idea won't help too many, but I have a mobile "stepladder" for checking my boxes. I check them on horseback, other than the ones right near the house. My co-monitor is a wonderful partner who puts up nobly with being dive-bombed by tree swallows, hissed at by titmice and chickadees. I can loop the reins over my arm, do my looking/feeling, and he stays absolutely still. I have even carried a box, already mounted on a metal post, over my shoulder to put up in a distant field! (A younger filly began light monitor duties last year; she can handle the tree swallows, and mama bluebird ducking out of the box, but her patience only extends as yet to a quick peek!)

My horseback checks allow me to have the boxes mounted a bit higher than if I had to check on foot. I do find top-opening boxes are easier for this; it's not perfect, as I can't check under the nest. Probably someone clever has designed one that will open both top and side. I also mount most of the boxes with a single bolt-- this allows me to rotate the box upside down when it's time to clean out an old nest (or, say, a lot of twigs!)
 


Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 10:41:31 -0500
From: Erica McCardell erica64"at"MailAndNews.com
To: "Fread Loane" firefrost2"at"earthlink.net
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: Using Insecticide-laced Tapes In Nestboxes

Dear Fread Loane:

Thank you for your well-researched response counselling against the insecticidal strips. I was reading the thread with a sinking feeling and a growing sense of disbelief. So many of well-intentioned people were buying a powerful insecticide and putting it within inches of a brood of nestlings. It defied logic! Thanks for taking the time to show exactly why this shouldn't be.

Sincerely,

Erica McCardell

===== Original Message From "Fread Loane" firefrost2"at"earthlink.net =====

http://www.cdms.net/ldat/mp0R6000.pdf

The above site will take you to the Material Safety Data Sheet on the chemincal insecticide BAYGON which is impregnated in tapes/sticks and used to keep paper wasps from building nests in various containers. Before you attempt to use such impregnated tapes/sticks, you should
fully read the MSDS for this specific carbamate insecticide.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read this site. Use the magnifying glass with a + sign to maximize the labels so you can clearly read them.

After reading the MSDS on this chemical, my personal opinon is: DO NOT USE THIS CHEMICAL IN NESTBOXES!
Baygon is in the family of carbamate insecticides. Carbamates and organophosphates are some of the more powerful insecticides used. Both carbamates and organophosphates contain cholinesterase inhibitors. Essentially, these are powerful nerve poisons and, in my opinion, should
never be used in association with nesting birds.

To understand how cholinesterase inhibitors work:  http://ace.ace.orst.edu/info/extoxnet/tibs/cholines.htm

We live in a world of powerful chemicals. It is prudent, particulary so when it comes to using any chemical around our nestboxes, to fully understand all the dangers involved. As a horticulturist with some 25 years experience, I have been trained in using some very powerful
chemicals. To use any carbamate or organophosphate properly, you must dress in chemical resistant clothing, use a respirator, and chemical safe gloves. After using such a chemical, you should bathe using lots of soap and hot water.

Knowing this, I would never ever consider using such chemicals around birds-----particularly young and very susceptible nestlings!

In my experience, to rid a nesbox of wasps: go to the infested box very early in the morning when the insects are greatly quieted down by the temperature. Use a broad-bladed putty knife and simply mash the nest and the wasp with one movement. If you are properly monitoring your
nestboxes, you should find the wasp nest when there is one to 5 individuals and they are quite easily squashed.

Fread J. Loane
Horticulturist
Tulsa, Oklahoma


Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 22:40:13 -0400
From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Cc: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: freezing temps/eggs

It went below freezing last night and may repeat tonight.

I figure if a bird is incubating, a short cold snap won't hurt much. But what about the eggs in a nest boxes without the female. How cold can they get before damage is done?

Gary Springer

Writing from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Georgia, further north than most of South Carolina and a bit of North Carolina
Member NABS, Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania, and Ohio Bluebird Society
www.realbirdhomes.com


Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 11:45:51 EDT
From: HeatonPG"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: What time do BB lay eggs?

Hi Bluebirders, I read in Stokes that bluebirds lay eggs between 7 and they found as late as 9:30 AM. Well, my Mrs. Bird, like me, must not be a morning person, I mean bird. I checked the nest at 12:30 PM and there were still just the two eggs that were there the day before. I wondered if she was only going to lay 2. When I checked the nest again at 5:00 PM, lo and behold, there were three eggs! Is the common or unusual? (now on 4/7 - there is a fourth egg laid before 10am)

Also, since the crows are eating the mealies from the small open mealy feeder, I got one of those bluebird feeders with the holes on each end and the Plexiglas sides, thinking this would be safer when the little ones arrive. I'm not interested in feeding the crows. Any suggestions on how to encourage the BB to begin feeding from this feeder? They weren't interested today, although a nuthatch was. Maybe the BB will see this and try it.

Pam Heaton, Atlanta, GA


Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 07:59:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Horace Sher
To: HeatonPG"at"aol.com
Cc: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Eggs

Hey Pam. Dumping by another BB is a remote possibility. I've observed that when she is laying an egg, she is in & out several times. Any 1 of these times she's in there for several minutes laying the egg. When you found the 3rd egg, had you noticed her in the box often before that? Horace in NC.
 


Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2000 15:10:39 -0400
From: "D.H. Snook 40:53N 81:35W"
To: BLUEBIRD-L
Subject: Egg on top of Box

Yesterday, 4/8, 4 EABL eggs were noted in the box, with parents in the area. Today there was one egg on top of the box. Box tops are flat, NABS house. The egg was cold (as were the 4 inside) but the weather is cold and snowy and Mrs. has not started to brood. The egg on top was exactly the same size and color as those inside and was not damaged. I put theegg inside. Very strange. Anyone have a similar experience?Doug SnookCanal Fulton, OH (NE)


Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 16:13:58 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: To remove or not to remove unhatched eggs

...

I would guess they probably won't hatch. I have had this happen to me from time to time, and I have had no problems leaving the eggs in there until I remove the entire nest after fledging. However, many other people on this list advocate removing the unhatched eggs, thinking they could break and foul the nest, possibly attracting predators. I have never had any break even in the heat of summer, but I have not monitored the hundreds of boxes some people have.

Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 10:05:32 -0500
From: "Wright, Merlin C." mcwrigh"at"nppd.com
To: "'bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu'" bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: egg development

I hope someone who really knows will answer because we know that sperm has to get inside the yolk BEFORE the shell is applied. I have killed and butchered a chicken that was laying one egg per day . It is very interesting to see a row of eggs in development inside a bird. I think she will lay an egg the day after the mating. I sure am glad you posed the question to the list.

Merlin Wright at Brownville Nebraska

-----Original Message-----

From: Bret/Marisa Barrier [mailto:thebarriers"at"worldnet.att.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 7:25 PM
To: Bluebird List
Subject: Bluebirds Mating on My Deck

...


Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 16:49:18 EDT
From: RWil2654"at"aol.com
To: mcwrigh"at"nppd.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: egg development

HI Merlin;

What was the question the Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North America BIRDS by John K. Terres had the answer but I don't know the question. On page 287 is quite an article about egg fertilization and it is quite interesting to read.

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190 39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES

A HREF="http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/"Bob Wilson Home Page/A
A HREF="http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdguide/"BLUEBIRD-L REFERENCE GUIDE/A


Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 17:05:22 EDT
From: RWil2654"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: Egg Fertilization

If the time after fertilization to laying of the first egg is the question on page 288 that time is average 72 hours or as little as 19 1/2 hours. This in the domestic hen they do not have specific information on bluebirds.

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190 39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES

A HREF="http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/"Bob Wilson Home Page/A
A HREF="http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdguide/"BLUEBIRD-L REFERENCE GUIDE/A


Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 09:59:00 EDT
From: JaneHopeC"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Rock Rimmon Golf course - question

Hi all,

Yesterday - two TRES nests, one complete, 1 chickadee nest, still no eggs, four EABL nests - 1 with no eggs, 1 with 1, 1 with 2 and 1 with 4.

I am assuming this last clutch is now complete and incubation has started since the first egg was laid Friday, and when I visited yesterday the male was on the box and the female was inside and flew out as I approached.

I have a question about it. On my very first visit to the course in March when we cleaned out the boxes which had not been checked for two years, in this particular box I found two old nests, one on top of the other. The bottom one had four old undisturbed eggs in it and the top, two eggs same. Presumably these were infertile for some reason. So is it more likely that this is the same pair or one of, and they are infertile, or that there is some other reason for it? What are the chances of this nest being successful this time? In the other old EABL on the course there were no old eggs like this.

Jane
Pound Ridge
NY


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 17:58:30 EDT
From: Nuts4bb"at"aol.com
To: HeatonPG"at"aol.com
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: 12-14.. day incubation range & a couple nuggets

Pam, Don't worry, sometimes incubation takes a little longer. It depends on the weather, how long the female stays on the nest... My recently hatched bluebirds hatched on day 15. Relax and enjoy!

Terrie in Mt. Blanchard, OH (NW)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ORIGINAL QUESTION:

Hi Linda, Horace, Bluebirders, In relation to incubation time, I've been wondering myself as this is day 14 and the eggs are still intact, except for the one that was dented in had a bigger hole in it, but can't tell if there is a baby inside and didn't want to delay too long with the box open. All three eggs are warm. The 4th which was cracked and two-toned in color was removed by the birds a few days ago. It has been 50-75*F this week but very windy this week. Was wondering if this is going to be a longer incubation time. Pam, Atlanta, GA


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 23:44:40 EDT
From: HeatonPG"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Incubation day 18 and still not hatched?

Pam Heaton - Atlanta, GA T-57*F - Incubation day 18, 2 EABL eggs

Hi Everyone,
I'm concerned because this is incubation day 18 and the two eggs still have not hatched. It has been chilly and rainy lately although today was a warmish day and sunny. It's supposed to get unseasonably cold tonight, unfortunately. The eggs are warm and the parents are acting normally. Momma stays in the nest and comes out when she knows I'm putting mealies in the feeder. Poppa nose dives at me when I'm near the box and other times, churps at me in his little EABL way when he arrives for mealies. To refresh your memories, we started out with 5 eggs then one disappeared. Listserv concensus was human predator. Then there were 4 eggs remaining - 2 damaged and 2 look normal. The birds apparently removed the two damaged ones on different days. (I left the damaged ones in the nest as advised by members and proved true that the birds are perfectly capable of policing their own nest) What should I do. I know , all I can do is wait and see. Have any of you had experience with this long an incubation period?
Thanks, Happy Bluebirding, Pam


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 06:36:15 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: incubation time

Keith Kridler heavy thunder storms crossing the Red River (dividing Oklahoma from Texas) 60 miles to the north. Hail predicted!

One of the longest incubation times recorded with Eastern Bluebirds in our part of Texas was 21 days reported by Harry Krueger. All five eggs hatched. Harry kept impeccable records and checked all 65 of his nestboxes everyday.
KK


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 13:17:48 EDT
From: CHR9"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Time: 5th egg to incubation

What is the maximum time between last egg laying and beginning of incubation for EABL? I have 5 eggs that have been left uncovered for 12 days. When I checked today there was a bumblebee in the nest. I don't know if it had been there before. Would this be the reason? When an incubating female leaves the nest when monitoring occurs, what is the longest it might be before she returns?

Charlie, SE Pennsylvania


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 10:58:24 -0700
From: "W.Guglieri" wendyg"at"jps.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: egg ID - need help

Wendy Guglieri
Rescue, California
-in the Sierra Nevada foothills 40 mi. east of Sacramento-
wendyg"at"jps.net

Greetings:

Monitored m golf course trail today - will post more about "Earwig City" later. I have a question about the eggs in one nest. Last week, the nest (WEstern BLuebird) was almost complete, made entirely of pine needles, but without the inner cup completed. Today the interior of the nest is lined with garbage (lots of paper, especially the cellophane wrappers around cigarette packages). The 3 eggs present were warm (assume incubation), and I saw from a long distance a bird leaving the nest, but couldn't ID her. The eggs are blue, the exact color of WEBL eggs, but with irregular brown spots.

I assume that it is a HOuse SParrow, but was a bit confused by the blue color. Waited for a long time for the female to return, but she did not while I was there. I've actually never seen a HOSP nest or eggs, believe it or not. At any rate, I figured leaving them there for one week would at least keep her out of commission, assuming that it is a HOSP. If it is, I will destroy the eggs at that time. I'll be away for the rest of the weekend, but welcome your input. Thanks much. wg

p.s. The eggs are NOT gray, but definitely blue...


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 18:20:29 -0500
From: "Mary Ferran" mary.ferran"at"conwaycorp.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"CORNELL.EDU
Subject: Abandoned eggs

I have two boxes about 200 feet apart and in one of them I have 5 beautiful eggs. For several weeks, I saw both male and female bluebirds in this box. Now, nothing! Is it possible that they have abandoned it. It's been at least a week and I haven't seen anything in or around it. Now I have a male that is keeping a vigil around the other box. I have checked it and there isn't anything in it yet. The nest seems to not even be finished yet. Could this be the same pair and for some reason they have changed boxes? Any help will be appreciated. Should I take the eggs out of the box and clean out the nest so that they can build a new nest in it? I thought maybe something happened to the female and that's why the nest has been abandoned.

Thanks

Mary Ferran
516 South German Lane
Conway, AR 72032


Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 20:16:01 -0400
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: "Mary Ferran" mary.ferran"at"conwaycorp.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Abandoned eggs

Mary, et al, - For now, at least, I'd let them do whatever it is they're trying to do. They usually know best, and most of the time things turn out just fine. They have their priorities and their inner timetables, and they're often different from ours in ways we can't begin to understand. We can control them very little, and beyond that they're going to do what they're going to do. It's astonishing how often everything works out for the best. Try reading the wonderful resources this Listserv offers, like the REFERENCE GUIDE, and the BEST OF BLUEBIRD-L.Lots to learn there, at your fingertips.
Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Sunapee NH
blueburd"at"srnet.com
...


Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 00:11:15 -0500
From: jwick"at"tds.net (Ann E S Wick)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: re: 7 egg clutch

...

I had 7 eggs in an Eastern Bluebird nest last summer. It was the first such clutch I had seen in my 10 years of bluebirding. I assumed an egg had been dumped there by another female, as I only rarely see 6 egg clutches (2 of 44 pairs nesting right now, for instance).

Interestingly enough, all 7 hatched but 1 nestling did not survive. This particular nestbox housed 3 nestings of Easterns in '99, fledging 17 bluebirds!!! (clutch sizes were 7, 6 and 5 respectively.)

Ann Wick
Black Earth, WI (where the House Wren returned today..........)


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 17:37:07 EDT
From: MSBOC"at"aol.com
To: kridler"at"1starnet.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: unsuccessful brood

Hi Keith,

I have a question about candling the egg. I did exactly that with a bluebird egg that had stayed unhatched in the nest for 9 days. Half the egg was dark and the rest had that shine. Can you speculate on what I saw?

Thanks.
Nancy Bocian
Newtown, CT


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 21:55:03 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: unsuccessful brood/small egg

Keith Kridler heavy thunder storms rumbling through Northeast Texas

Nancy is this "nine day old" egg actually nine days after the first young have hatched? It sounds to me like it was infertile and the yolk is settling out since the female is no longer turning the egg. Sometimes a large section of the egg will become filled with air (the egg is drying up on the inside) and pressure builds up to the point where the egg will "pop" with just being placed in full sun. Normally the big end of the egg contains the air chamber.

Small egg: The tiny egg reported is one where the shell formed without a yolk being included in the egg. These do not hatch but should be saved and used in a show and tell display. They are very rare! Larry Zeleny found two in one nest once and I have only seen one in my boxes but none in about 18 years! We had several small eggs found and reported last year by members of this list along with some kidney bean shaped ones. You can leave it in the nest to make sure it does not hatch but try to save it after the young are about 6 days old. KK


Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 14:42:43 EDT
From: HeatonPG"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Scratched eggs?

Hello Everyone,
I now have a new EABL started in the same box where I had the last nest that had the problems with the damaged eggs. This is a new EABL couple as their behavior is different. Anyway, there now are 3 eggs. I cleaned out the old nest and single unhatched egg last Sunday, by midweek there was a new nest started in the box--now a week after I cleaned out the old nest, a new nest with 3 eggs is there!

QUESTION: In examining the eggs, I noticed that they all have scratches in the shell at one spot on the shell and the blue is scratched of to show white. I'm wondering 1) does this happen when the mother turns the eggs; or 2) could this be a house wren problem. I've been hoping and praying it's not house wrens, but am really scared. I haven't seen any house wrens, but that doesn't mean there aren't any around. Thanks. Pam


Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 17:15:41 -0400
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: HeatonPG"at"aol.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Scratched eggs?

Pam, et al,
If you have House Wrens around, you'll HEAR them, even if you don't see them. Their song is unmistakable, even for the congenitally tone-deaf. White streaks on eggs is a common thing. Some think it's fecal matter, some have other theories, some think it's scratches.
Bruce Burdett NH
...


Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 16:40:37 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Scratched eggs?

Pam, it is not uncommon to see a little bit of white on the eggs. Since the pigment is added while the egg is being laid, it is possible that a spot got left white, or there could be feces on the egg shell. I do not know whether you would have a wren problem in your area, but my understanding is that they actually pierce the eggs and/or carry them off, so I doubt they would only "scratch" them. I would just observe to see what happens.
Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 20:36:32 -0600 Central Daylight Time
From: Tim Riding triding"at"aristotle.net
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: FWD(2): Re: 3 babies and 1 egg on rim of nest - - should I remove the egg??

Follow-up - - the three babies have fledged (? is that the correct term for "they grew feathers and flew away"?).

The egg on the rim was gone the next time I monitored the box so the parents must have removed it somehow. The entry hole is about 6 - 7 inches above where the egg was - - how'd they do it?

----- Forwarded Message -----

-- From: triding"at"mail.aristotle.net
-- To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
-- Subject: FWD: Re: 3 babies and 1 egg on rim of nest - - should I remove the egg??
-- Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 18:41:36 -0600 Central Daylight Time

Thanks Doug, I will keep you posted. So far, the parents appear to be feeding the babies.

----- Forwarded Message -----

-- From: "D.H. Snook 40:53N 81:35W" dhsnook"at"sssnet.com
-- To: triding"at"aristotle.net, BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
-- Subject: Re: 3 babies and 1 egg on rim of nest - - should I remove the egg??
-- Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 13:37:17 -0400

I had an egg on the rim also, with 2 eggs in the cup. I put the egg on the rim in the nest cup. Two birds hatched and one egg remained. Impossible to tell if it was the rim egg that did not hatch. Birds were 3 days old on Sunday and on Monday chicks were dead. No sign of female or male. Chicks appeared normal, no evidence of an attack. It appeared the female just stopped feeding them, but why? If something happened to the female, the male is said to take over the feeding duties. It would be a huge coincidence if both male and female were killed/died. The nest has been re-started as of the following Sat, of course unknown if by the same pair. I would be very interested to see what happens in Tim's situation.

Doug Snook

Canal Fulton, OH (NE)

...


Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 11:32:59 -0400
From: "birdlady" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Undersized Eastern Bluebird Eggs

Hello All:

I just reviewed new Reference Guide updated 5/18/2000 (excellent!). Could find no data on puny Eastern Bluebird (EABL) eggs. Just saw one today, 2nd nesting this yr. by female 2+ yrs. old, first egg of second clutch. Past discussions on list addressed this but do not recall hatching possibilities of egg about 1/2 size of normal egg.

If this is in Ref. Guide, please direct me to category instead of my bugging everyone on the list. I'm just curious. If this prolific female continues this type of behavior I will have to speak to her as she is well fed & have attentive mate!

Many thanks --

Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD


Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 13:45:39 -0400
From: "birdlady" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Undersized Eastern Bluebird Eggs

Hi All:

In an earlier post today I reported discovering undersized Eastern Bluebird egg in second nesting of 2+ yr. old female Eastern Bluebird and asked if this is addressed in the updated Reference Guide.

My "homework" was completed when I checked Bluebird Trails, 3rd Ed., Scriven, p. 29...... ..".' Miniature' eggs sometimes found in the second clutch, are not fertile"... therefore, I will not discuss this w/mama bluebird as it is obviously an act of nature...

Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD  


Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 10:40:45 -0700
From: "Tena Taylor" tenataylor"at"tycom.net
To: "BLUEBIRD LIST" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Sleeping babies and my question of the day

Tena Taylor, Calhoun County, Mississippi

Pam, I like to think our babies are so well fed here in the deep south that they are just very contented!

Question of the day: In one of my boxes, there was a successful first nesting with 5 fledging. One week later there was a complete nest with 5 eggs (on 5/17). On 5/24 there were 5 eggs; on 5/31 there were only 2 eggs. Then yesterday there were again 5 eggs! Anybody have any idea what's going on here?


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 21:33:55 EDT
From: BsnQs"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fledglings

Dale Kendall, West Chester, PA, north of Wilmington, DE
Saturday, June 3rd

I put out mealworms in the am and Mr and Mrs were feeding the babies in the box. Was out for the day and when arriving home in the late afternoon, I noticed there was no one around; checked the box in the evening and the fledglings had left; however, there were two eggs which did not hatch, originally there were five eggs. Felt like I had lost a child. Has anyone had any experience with eggs not hatching? Two chicks hatched on May 17th. These babies weren't really active during the whole time of monitoring, and it was hard to count. Everytime I checked it looked like a blue blob - I guess they were sleeping.


Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 22:13:44 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Fledglings

...

It is not uncommon that one or more of the eggs doesn't hatch. At least that's been my experience. Next nesting, if you peer at the "blue blob" you may be able to see the little beaks, even if the babies are sleeping or huddled together and very still. I never touch or move them unless I think something is wrong, but my beak counts are usually proven correct once the babies near fledging and the "blob" turns into individual birds.
 

Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 20:09:17 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: bluebird eggs with no nest

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

Any time you find bird eggs in a box with no nest you can figure that the female was about to start laying eggs and then lost their nest for some reason. Not being able to stop a series of eggs just about to be laid she evidently "dumped" them in this empty box. Had they not rolled out of the box and fallen to the ground (I expect this may have ruined them even if they did not break) you can often build a nest for them and place the eggs in this manmade nest and they will accept your offering. This is one of the draw backs to side opening boxes! I lost a couple eggs of a Red Headed woodpecker once as I opened the box she flinched and kicked out two eggs past my hand before I even knew she was nesting in the box. I thought a squirrel had enlarged the hole between box checks. KK


Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 21:44:38 -0400
From: "D.H. Snook 40:53N 81:35W Canal Fulton, OH (NE)" dhsnook"at"sssnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: EABL eggs w/o male?

Hi list,

A couple of questions.

At one of my trails, I seem to have a female or male EABL with a problem. Last year she and perhaps he had 3 nestings, each with 4 eggs. None hatched. The TRES had no problems, each with 5 or 6 eggs, all hatched and fledged. The trail is in a fenced water treatment plant. There are 9 boxes, with 4 pairs and one single.

This year, same thing. First nesting with 5 eggs, none hatched. In another box at the same general location, 5 more eggs, none hatched. I found a 3rd nest on top of the latest nest, so removed the nest and eggs as I have done each time when the eggs are cold after 20+ days when a new nest is observed.

In each situation, the female was incubating for up to 24 days before abandoning the nest.

I guess chickens can lay eggs without the help of a male. Of course you don't have baby chickens. Can an EABL lay eggs without a male around? There is very little sign of a male at this location. Does this female EABL think she is a chicken? Is this possible?

Another question. At another location, I had 5 EABL hatch. One looked very sickly, a runt. On Sunday it looked nearly dead, but I left it alone. On Tuesday, it was gone, obviously removed by the parents. What did they do with it?

Thanks,
Doug Snook


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 08:34:25 -0500
From: Carolyn Hall cjhall"at"huntel.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: EABL eggs w/o male?

Doug Snook, dhsnook"at"sssnet.com
MY REPLY IS IN CAPS:
A couple of questions.
At one of my trails, I seem to have a female or male EABL with a
problem. Last year she and perhaps he had 3 nestings, each with 4 eggs.

SURELY CAN LAY EGGS WITHOUT BEING FERTLILIZED. FEMALE GREAT HORNED OWLS IN THE RAPTOR RECOVERY CENTER ROUTINELY LAY EGGS EACH SPRING, INCUBATE THEM AND THEN IF AND WHEN A BABY G-H OWLET COMES IN, THE RECOVERY TEAM GIVES IT TO THE MAMA OWL AND SHE RAISES IT. IT IS THEN RELEASED BACK TO THE WILD AND IS NOT IMPRINTED TO HUMANS. NEAT TRICK!!!!

The trail is in a fenced water treatment plant.

WHAT A GREAT PLACE FOR BLUEBIRDS. I'LL BET THE COONS AND CATS HAVE A PROBLEM GETTING IN?????

There are 9 boxes, with 4 pairs and one single.
Another question. At another location, I had 5 EABL hatch. One looked
very sickly, a runt. On Sunday it looked nearly dead, but I left it
alone. On Tuesday, it was gone, obviously removed by the parents. What
did they do with it?

THEY WOULD CARRY IT OUT A WAYS AND DROP IT JUST LIKE THEY DO FECAL SACS.
CAROLYN HALL, BASSETT, NE


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 10:27:46 -0700
From: "Kenneth Avery" ken"at"mudlake.org
To: "Bluebird List" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Lone Egg

I have a box with a single, very large Western Bluebird egg in it. I have not seen any additional activty around the box since. It has now been 6 days with no additional eggs. I have another box that is close to having the female start a second clutch of eggs (she has been working on the nest and it now looks ready). Is there a possiblitly the single egg is still viable and if so could it be moved to the other box once she starts laying eggs? I wouldn't want to upset the second nest for just a single egg, but I also hate to see a potential Bluebird go unhatched. I will look forward to input from you more experienced bluebirders.

Ken Avery
Cheney, Washington


Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 09:56:43 -0400
From: Barb DeLong delong24"at"msu.edu
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Incubation

Just wondering how much time mama bluebird should be spending time on the nest. We have a nest with 4 eggs in it and figured they would have started incubation last tuesday or wednesday -but it seems like mama bluebird is off the nest quite a bit. Both daddy and mama "flit" to and from the box and yesterday I noticed daddy taking more "nesting" materials inside the box.

Any ideas? Being a first time bluebirder - I'm nervous at everything they do - and plan on getting a good bluebird book maybe today - so I don't pester you guys too much! Plus being worried about those house sparrows - makes it doubley nervous!

Thanks!
Barb DeLong
Eaton Rapids, Michigan


Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 11:21:57 -0500
From: "Shelly and Kim Harris" eaglflyt"at"telepath.com
To: "Bluebird List" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: One egg unhatched!

Dear Fellow Birders,
I have my first hatching of Eastern Bluebirds!!!! Just put the box up a few weeks ago.....bluebirds claimed it! They laid 4 pretty, blue eggs...and right on schedule, they hatched sometime yesterday. 3 wriggling babies were found yesterday evening, and still one pretty blue egg. Will this last egg hatch possibly? Is it too long to still expect it to hatch? Should I do something if it doesn't? Sorry, but I'm new to this and so excited with their progress!
Birdly,
Shelly in Norman, Oklahoma


Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 16:22:24 -0700
From: "Elaine Stayton" moron"at"a-znet.com
To: "bluebird_L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Strange egg laying pattern--again

This is the bluebirds second nesting and also the same pattern that was her first. She laid one egg on Sat. This afternoon I checked and their is still one egg! I was told maybe a lack of calicum for the first batch. As the New York weather pattern is still very rainy cool and not nice. I will check again tomorrow but this is a first for me to have this happen again in the same year. The weather has to have something to do with this.As I've read we all seem to be having some kinds of problems this year. Elaine from Central New York



Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 18:47:10 -0700
From: Linda Violett
To: "Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu"
Subject: Re: 2nd bluebird nest with 7 eggs

Linda Violett - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Seven western bluebird eggs all hatched and fledged from a Yorba Linda, Calif. box last week (Betty Lovejoy's). It was a second clutch of the season for the bluebird pair and a first-time clutch for Betty who had been trying to attract bluebirds. : )

I believe this pair migrated from the back side of the street where I had tried a paired setup this year to get bluebirds and Bewick's wrens. HOSP took one box, bluebirds took the other. Homeowners decided they didn't want me "aborting" the HOSP eggs but let me oil them (I know . . . only in California!).

One HOSP survived the oiling and fledged (the first and last HOSP to fledge from my trail). The bluebirds fledged from this paired site and I quickly removed their box. The sparrow fledged and I put up a box with a small entrance hole so neither bluebirds or HOSP could ever use it again . . . the homeowners didn't know the difference and I was hoping the bluebirds would find Betty's yard. When I checked this previously-paired site a few days ago, the bluebird male (with a couple of first nestlings in tow) flew over and sat on the neighborhood telephone wires watching me check the small box in the old yard. Then the male flew to and briefly landed in the old "bluebird" tree, then circled the old "HOSP" tree and they all flew back toward Betty's. Very satisfying, indeed!

rnelson wrote:

It's actually the Western. I haven't seen any Mountain Bluebirds in this
exact area but I know they are near here. I have only seen the Mountains
once last year farther east from here. They are amazing. With this nest, I
was quite surprised to see 7 eggs. I didn't think they usually had that
many.

 


Bluebird Eggs (Part 2)


Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars

Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

Home
Calendar
Current Newsletter
Places to Bird
Bird Calendars
March
April
May
September
October
November
Links
Archive Index

BEST OF BLUEBIRD_L CLASSIFIEDS HOME | Audubon Society of Omaha | The Bluebird Box | Bluebird FAQs | Search | Contact me
All material was originally posted on the Bluebird_L or Bluebird mailing list, and has been reposted here with slight modifications to make the posts more readable in an HTML format.  In cases in which quoted material has been deleted to save space, this is indicated by an ellipsis (...)
For more information about Bluebird_L, check out http://www.cit.corn.edu/cit-pubs/email/using-lists/index.htm. If you wish to contact the author of a post, you will need to edit the e-mail address, replacing "at" with the "at" symbol (above the number 2 on your keyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the web page address, title of post, and date and time of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis

 

would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis