May 8, 2008

Birds and Broken Eggs

I have two bluebird boxes on my property. One of them was here when we moved in, the other I put up about 3 years ago. The newer box had attracted much attention, but until I found this site for bluebirds (Sialis) I had no idea is was the wrong kind of attention. Since putting it up, the bluebirds look at it, but get kicked out by other birds. Then, they go back to the original box, which they raise babies in every year.

This past year, when I cleaned out the boxes, I noticed that the second box was filled with a stick nest from the wrens. One year it was a dummy nest. The next year it was used (the spiders webs are the tell-tale sign). What I didn't realize was that wrens destroy nests and crack eggs.

This year I was thrilled that the newer box was inhabited by bluebirds. But, they were soon kicked out by black capped chicadees. I was thrilled. I watched them every day as they went back and forth. I figured eggs must have been laid, and soon we'd have hatchlings. Then I noticed 2 days ago that a wren flew in and out of the box. OH NO. And, unfortunately, this is what I found.

Broken shells! I opened up the box, and it was empty, save for a stick. Those bad birds cleaned out the chicadee nest! Grrrr. I checked again today, and the box is filled with sticks and some spiders webs. The momma stood by and sung at me, telling me to get lost. I guess I'll leave her to raise a family there. She does have a sweet song, after all.

On a brighter note, about 10 feet from the nest box, some mockingbirds are building a nest. It is really close to the edge of the forsythia bush, so it should give me some good glimpses into the nest. And they also like to perch on the nest box- maybe they'll chase the pesky wrens away.
**I just went out and looked, and the bird (I don't know if the male or female builds it) has started to line it with soft materials- bits of cat hair, twine, grasses, and even a little bit of moss.


The Other Side of Me said...


Those broken eggs were so small. It is so sad. I am excited about the new nest. Hopefully you can get some great pics of the nest and of the new eggs if we're lucky. Great post.

Vera said...

Aw...I think it is neat that you can witness so much activity...we have our one nest and that has been keeping us fascinated...everyday we go out and look to see how big the baby birds have grown.


Tiny tiny little What a sad sorry. Well at least you might be able to get some new life sometime soon. That's a totally bummer. I loved your pictures..very nice.