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Birding/Bird House Attacked


We have a bird house in our front yard and every year it is occupied. Yesterday I noticed something hanging out of the "door" and when I took a closer look, I saw that it was a baby bird. Something had apparently attacked the house and pulled the baby from the inside. Then, whatever it was, ate most of the baby (all that was left was the bones, some skin/feathers, beak, etc). My questions are as follows: #1. What could have done this? #2. Should we take any action such as removing the dead baby? #3. Will birds ever use this house again? #4. How can we prevent this from happening again? Thank you in advance for your time and advice.

#1. Cat, rat, opossum, raccoon, Scrub Jay, owl, hawk, and who knows might be the culprit?
#2. Removing the dead baby is appropriate; there is nothing else to do.
#3. No reason why birds won't use this house again; I am sure they will.
#4. You can't. As long as the bird house is where the birds who nest in in can get to it, so can lots of other animals. If you try to scare anything away, you'll just scare the songbirds away.

This is nature and is natural. It happens frequently. You may be surprised to learn that only 10-20% of eggs that are laid by songbirds ever become adults.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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