Question Why aren't any of the bluebird eggs hatching?
Four years ago I placed 2 bluebird houses 15ft high at opposite ends of the west side of my home. Immediately a bluebird moved in, laid eggs, they hatched and fledged, and everything seemed fine for 2 years. Then starting two years ago a single pair of blue birds made a nest in one, then a month later made a nest in the other house. Neither group of her five eggs ever hatched. This year it's June and the exact same scenario, two bluebirds, two nests, five eggs each, and none have hatched? They're a very attentive pair, always nearby, and visit the nest often. She has even been accepting of a nearby nesting Chickadee. Yesterday it seemed the bluebird mother became frustrated when the Chickadee's eggs hatched because she removed the hatchlings and destroyed the nest. Why aren't her eggs hatching?
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Answer Sometimes just like in the human race there are fertility problems, although many females get around this by sneaking away and mating with other males. In this pair it may be the female's problem. It does not happen often but all of us Bluebirders experience it. And just a comment - you don't need boxes that high. Eye high for you so you can check the box easily weekly is best. Also it was probably a killer house sparrow or a House Wren that removed the Chickadee eggs. Bluebirds will build on top of a Chickadee nest, even with eggs, but are not raiders. If you will send your mailing address to me at email@example.com I will send you my free Bluebird book which will make you an expert. Good luck. Bluebird Bob Walshaw.
Questions about setting up and monitoring Eastern Bluebird houses. This includes where and how to put up houses, trouble shooting, fighting predators, especially the killer house sparrows and helping other small cavity nesters such as Chickadees, Titmice, Carolina Wrens, etc. Send mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 page Bluebird book.
20 years with a 100+ box Bluebird trail which has been accepted as part of the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail. Talks on Bluebirds to many organizations.
Organizations North American Bluebird Society, Audubon Society local and national, Oklahoma Bluebird Society, OK Furbearers Alliance
Publications Bluebird Magazine, Birds and Blooms, Oklahoma Today and many other publications.
Education/Credentials BS, MBA, Cornell University Bird Biology course
Awards and Honors Blue Cross Ageless Hero, Red Cross Everyday Hero, North American Bluebird Society Awards, Oklahoma Bluebird Society Lifetime Award.