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Birding/Cold weather mortality?


We have had a late spring in northwest Missouri with temperatures fluctuating dramatically.  A few days after hatchlings were born, the weather dipped to the mid-thirties along with the first snow in May in decades.  In three nest boxes the hatchlings that remained in the boxes (just one or two in each box) were dead.  Is this likely a result of cold weather?  Did the parent remove the others?  I found one dead hatchling at the base of the nest box pole in tact.  I cleaned out the nests.  Will they likely try another brood?

This is not unusual and they will try again. It may not have been the cold, but that the parents could not find food to feed them. This happens a lot with Purple Martins when a cold snap shuts down their insect food. If you will send your mailing address to me at I will send you my free Bluebird book. Bluebird Bob Walshaw.


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Bluebird Bob Walshaw


I can answer almost any question on Eastern Bluebirds and small cavity nesters such as Chickadees, Titmice, Wrens, etc. Also general questions on other songbirds. No pet bird questions please. Send mailing address to me at for a free 20 page Bluebird book.


I have had a 100+ nestbox trail for more than 20 years, I do a lot of writing, public speaking and educational work in this field. My hands-on Bluebird talks include more than 1000 people each year.

Oklahoma Bluebird Society, North American Bluebird Society, National Audubon Society, Oklahoma Audubon Society, Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance

Bluebird Magazine, Oklahoma Today, Fur-Fish-Game, Birds & Blooms, Nature Society News,Back Woodsman Magazine, Tulsa World, Broken Arrow ledger, Teaching Tolerance magazine,Trappers World, OK Hole Story, Birders World

Degree in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, Graduate of the Home Study Course in Bird Biology from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Oklahoma Master Naturalist. I am also a pofessional speaker and writer.

Awards and Honors
Chosen as a public speaker for the North American Bluebird Society, Bluebird trail accepted as part of the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail, Chosen as a panel speaker at the 2006 NABS Convention.

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