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5 hours ago, tclarkwood said:

My second clutch is about 5 days old. Parents are feeding rigorously.  Some bad news at my mom’s house. A rat snake made his way into the nest box last weekend and swallowed all babies.  My mom killed him when he exited the bluebird box but he had already done the deed.  The bluebirds are already acting like they may start another brood.  This fall I will improve the nest box to make it snake proof.  This is the first time in 15 years that a snake got into the box.  It is mounted on a privacy fence so that is susceptible to snakes. The bluebirds are fierce but they cannot deter a rat snake. 

I know it's sad to see a nest of young birds eaten that way. We all love to see them thrive and grow into adults, especially when they're in one of "our" nest boxes. However, in most, if not all, places in the U.S. it is illegal to kill a non-poisonous snake. They are protected by law, being deemed beneficial. That they eat young birds and bird eggs is just a fact of Nature. I'm not being critical, just stating facts. Hopefully you can succeed in making the nest box snake proof so the eggs and nestlings will be safe.

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11 hours ago, Bird Brain said:

I know it's sad to see a nest of young birds eaten that way. We all love to see them thrive and grow into adults, especially when they're in one of "our" nest boxes. However, in most, if not all, places in the U.S. it is illegal to kill a non-poisonous snake. They are protected by law, being deemed beneficial. That they eat young birds and bird eggs is just a fact of Nature. I'm not being critical, just stating facts. Hopefully you can succeed in making the nest box snake proof so the eggs and nestlings will be safe.

Yeah... I hate that she killed the snake but she is old school and will probably kill any snake that comes up close to her house.  

 

 

 

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These are the only snakes that are protected in Alabama.   She killed a rat snake so she did not violate the law. 

Alabama: Eastern Indigo, Eastern King, Eastern Coral, Gulf Salt Marsh, Prairie King, Rainbow, Speckled King or Southern Hognose snake.

Each state is different... In Arkansas, all snakes are protected. 

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46 minutes ago, tclarkwood said:

These are the only snakes that are protected in Alabama.   She killed a rat snake so she did not violate the law. 

Alabama: Eastern Indigo, Eastern King, Eastern Coral, Gulf Salt Marsh, Prairie King, Rainbow, Speckled King or Southern Hognose snake.

Each state is different... In Arkansas, all snakes are protected. 

That's good, wouldn't have wanted her to get in trouble for trying to protect the Blue Bird babies! I know what you mean about "old school" and snakes....most people used to think the only good snake was a dead snake!! My Daddy was the same, and he was also that way about Hawks and Owls, to protect his chickens.

Hopefully they will nest again this year and can raise their young'uns OK 

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Looks like we will have a 3rd clutch this year.  Surprised that it's only going to be 3.  I haven't experienced that before.  Checked on Monday and there were two eggs, so waited until Thursday to check again.  Only 3.  Definitely better than nothing, and first time for a third one here in hot lower Alabama.

 

PoKdwQ5.jpg

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Yeah... 3 would probably have to be the max for lower Alabama.   You may remember from a year or two ago but at my mother's place in north Alabama, they have had 4 clutches on several occasions but that is the max that I have ever heard of.  My second clutch should fledge by Sunday.  This morning both the male and female were calling to the chicks to come out.  I'm not sure how many days it takes for them to come out but they are chattering a lot.  My property is so noisy right now.  The red-shouldered hawks are teaching the two babies (as big as the adults) how to scream and carry on, catch squirrels, etc.  It sounds like a zoo every morning when I wake up!  I'll be glad when the youngsters leave just to get some peace! 

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tclarkwood

that would be a blessing if I could wake  hearing the singing of so many birds and diff species  . 

Sounds like a blessing  lol .

thank you for sharing.

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Question for you all.

I've been busy as helll, and haven't been able to keep a close eye on the Bluebirds this year.  I  noticed back on 6/6 that there were 5 eggs in the nest:

KIMG1638.jpg.4d3d28f10ec5d65a2dc3d92746dc4d29.jpg

 

And on 6/8 that one of the eggs had hatched:

KIMG1641.jpg.19043e366077186b5f195beeab887e1f.jpg

 

I checked it again today expecting to have all the eggs hatched, or maybe one left, and found that only two had hatched:

KIMG1651.jpg.7df5723d7cbddfdfe09845b82f0e2128.jpg

 

Should I be concerned?  This seems like a fairly large gap between hatching times.  For reference, I'm in Upstate Ny, and we have had a fairly chilly spring.

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21 hours ago, ruthcatrin said:

Question for you all.

I've been busy as helll, and haven't been able to keep a close eye on the Bluebirds this year.  I  noticed back on 6/6 that there were 5 eggs in the nest:

KIMG1638.jpg.4d3d28f10ec5d65a2dc3d92746dc4d29.jpg

 

And on 6/8 that one of the eggs had hatched:

KIMG1641.jpg.19043e366077186b5f195beeab887e1f.jpg

 

I checked it again today expecting to have all the eggs hatched, or maybe one left, and found that only two had hatched:

KIMG1651.jpg.7df5723d7cbddfdfe09845b82f0e2128.jpg

 

Should I be concerned?  This seems like a fairly large gap between hatching times.  For reference, I'm in Upstate Ny, and we have had a fairly chilly spring.

Because songbirds don't start incubating until all eggs are laid (unlike raptors for instance) all eggs should hatch within a 24 hour period.  I would take from this that only two are going to hatch.

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The bluebird chicks are literally hanging on the inside of the door ready to come out. The parents are still taking them insects. Not sure if they are coming out today or if it will be tomorrow? 

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On 6/12/2020 at 10:44 AM, Leandz said:

tclarkwood

that would be a blessing if I could wake  hearing the singing of so many birds and diff species  . 

Sounds like a blessing  lol .

thank you for sharing.

I love birds so don’t think that I don’t appreciate having a ton of birds around the house. But if you have ever young raptors on your property when they are fledging... it is a very noisy 2-3 weeks!  Ha ha! 

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21 hours ago, Chaseman said:

Because songbirds don't start incubating until all eggs are laid (unlike raptors for instance) all eggs should hatch within a 24 hour period.  I would take from this that only two are going to hatch.

If those extra eggs are still there today do I remove them or leave them for the parents to deal with?

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2 hours ago, ruthcatrin said:

If those extra eggs are still there today do I remove them or leave them for the parents to deal with?

Leave them.  They should remove them.  If not, just let it be.

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On 6/13/2020 at 4:49 PM, tclarkwood said:

I love birds so don’t think that I don’t appreciate having a ton of birds around the house. But if you have ever young raptors on your property when they are fledging... it is a very noisy 2-3 weeks!  Ha ha! 

Oh I understand that didn’t mean it that way  just knew if I had them it would be such a blessing bc those of us that have diff birds  love to have other bird sources around to enjoy as well . I am sure it is loud so close  just wish we all could have them lol 😂😂

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Success!  I was able to catch the last 2 flying out of the nest box! The last one left the box at 7:10 pm today... Sunday. We have about an hour of daylight left and I can here the parents trying to gather them all up chattering. Getting ready for their first night out of the box.  Pretty cool!  It’s funny because the babies don’t hit the ground when they fledge. They fly directly out of the box to a nearby tree and land on a limb. My box is up in a hill so it gives the babies a better chance of landing higher up in a tree which may improve their chances of escaping a potential predator. 

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I bet that was a beautiful site to watch . And watch the parents call them to them .

i had a set that nested on my porch last yr  they also nested in my yard twice that first yr in s box  but they chose my porch but the male got killed by a black snake  we tried to get to him before the snake got him but couldn’t so mommy hatch 4 babies and took care of them on her own  but I think they came off to early we go to check on them and they were off on the ground and couldn’t fly that good yet they look old enough but not sure they were but idk where the mommy went didn’t see her come for them but I am sure they didn’t live . But we had to let nature run it’s cource. And not interfere bc wasn’t sure if mommy was out there or came back for them  I really hope they lived though. 

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So, a series of surprises.  The first surprise was that we had a third nest built this year.  Last year there were only two.  The second surprise was there were only three eggs laid, each previous nest had five.  I guess the final surprise is that only one of the eggs hatched.  Seems like a lot of work for one baby, but if they can put another Bluebird into the world, I say it's worth it.

 

Fz6iiu3.jpg

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That is interesting about the only one egg hatching.   I also have an update as of lunchtime today.  My female has built a third nest in a half day!  I checked the box yesterday afternoon and it was empty but today when I went home for lunch I looked in the box and the nest was done!  Wow!  Now I have to admit she has pine straw from one of my flower beds within 20 feet of the box but still that is pretty impressive.  The male is still being chased around by 4 hungry juveniles.   My mother's place has a 3rd clutch as of 10 days ago. She lost her second clutch to a snake as you may recall.  I'm fairly confident that with the snake being removed from the picture that this clutch has a better chance up there.  I'll let you know if I get eggs for a third clutch at my property if and when it happens.  Hope so but it is about to get very hot!  July seems like a tough time to raise babies but I've seen bluebirds do it many times before. 

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Wow be nice to see mine have a third batch  but as far as I know this batch is her second . But not 100% sure in that . But she only builds in two places that I know of and one is in a power pole at the back of my home  that hooks up to my trailor they stop nesting there for yrs but now this yr they had the first batch there.  But now back in my front yard in a bird box  that my dad built for me about 20 yrs ago  amp bird ever nested in it all that time until last yr she had two batches there. Now she has her second batch in it again .  I see more blue birds around  but they all go away except one pair and the female has been here for last 3 yrs but she had to get a new mate bc hers got killed by a snake last yr . Broke my heart  I don’t know if they feel but it really look like she was lost she just sit on my line for hrs until her babies hatch then that kept her busy trying to feed 4 babies on her own until big enough to fly . But I love reading these post about the blue birds and of course other species .  Hope no one minds me replying to some of the post I enjoy learning all I can .

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On 6/26/2020 at 1:04 PM, Chaseman said:

So, a series of surprises.  The first surprise was that we had a third nest built this year.  Last year there were only two.  The second surprise was there were only three eggs laid, each previous nest had five.  I guess the final surprise is that only one of the eggs hatched.  Seems like a lot of work for one baby, but if they can put another Bluebird into the world, I say it's worth it.

 

Fz6iiu3.jpg

Mine only has 3 eggs in this time normally there are 5 hadn’t hatch yet check on them today but should be soon  hope all 3 hatch and live bc I agree everyone born and lives to adult hood means more and more I get to see and enjoy watching them  such s beautiful bird to watch .

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These pics were taken two days apart, at 3 days old and 5 days old.  Since there is no competition for food, I'm beginning to wonder if we have a "monster" baby on our hands.

 

anj5tAm.jpg

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I went down to the nest box after work yesterday to see what was inside and found where the female had laid an egg so it looks like they are going to attempt a third brood even this late into the season. It is suppose to be 91 degrees today and it will only get hotter so it will be interesting to see how it goes this July.  I will let everyone know how many eggs she lays this time. The second brood was 4 eggs.  I am traveling to Mom's house this weekend for the 4th so I will check on that nest box. That pair was laying eggs again in June following the snake. The babies should be hatched by now.  More to come with late season bluebird nesting! 

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