Birding/Bluebird eggs

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Question
Should I remove 5 eggs that were laid 3 or 4 weeks ago. The mother and mate still return to the nest but I fear the eggs were not fertile?

Answer
When the eggs are laid, the parents may or may not start to incubate them, for some reason. The eggs will stay fertile and good and when incubation begins all will be fine. Three or four weeks is unusual but that could be the case and the eggs may still be good. The eggs of course may be infertile but you just don't know. Bluebirds are promiscuous so the eggs might be from 3 or 4 fathers, so some might be fertile and some not. So......... my intuition is always to let nature take its course. If the parents finally give up and disappear for a week, then you know it it safe to remove the eggs. Otherwise, let things be.

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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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