Birding/blue birds nesting

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Question
I have a blue bird house the two blue birds made a nest and the baby bird died and the egg was left in the house. The parents are not around any more. Do I clean out the house or leave the nest alone, I removed the dead baby and the egg. This is the second year this happened, what happened to the baby, why do the parents leave the egg?

Answer
There are a number of possibilities. One or both parents could have died or been killed, the left egg may have been addled (unfertilized), a predator might have scared them off, etc. Hopefully you didn't check the house too often because too much disturbance can cause them to leave. Don't clean the house out now; they or another pair may decide to reuse the nest.
Most people don't realize how difficult is for birds to raise young. Probably only half the eggs laid make it as young and maybe 1/4 of those make it to a year old.

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

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.

Experience

Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of Ornithology.com . 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.

Education/Credentials
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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