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Bluebirds/Western Bluebird

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Question
I have had blue birds in my handmade nest box for the past 5 years. Last year I bought a nest box camera, but was not able to install because it was after they nested. I was able to watch the sparrows who used the same nest box.  This year starting fresh, I cleaned the box and waited.  The beginning of April the female started the nest.  On the April 9 she laid a single egg, but left, returning in the next morning to lay another egg.  Again not staying. This morning I watched she lay a third egg, again in the morning (all about 9 am) and then abandoning the nest for the night.  I assume the same will happen tomorrow.  Is this common to NOT stay overnight and lay a egg a day.  And if so, does not laying on the eggs at night cause damage, weather has not been freezing, but lows in the mid 40's.  I am very curious and have the ability to record on DVD all activity with the day/night nest cam.  I'm confused by the mother bird's actions.  Plus I read that if I removed the nest after use, microwave it to removed un-wanted pest and return it another family will use it.  Last year it was only sparrows right after the blue birds.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  Sincerely, Craig

Answer
She cannot stay after the first eggs are laid as this would start incubation which is not programmed to start until all the eggs are laid so the young all hatch at the same time. I work with Eastern Bluebirds but I have contacts in the West. If you will tell me where you live (contact me at walshaw1@cox.net) I will put you in contact with someone close to you who has Western Bluebirds. Good luck.

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Bluebird Bob Walshaw

Expertise

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 walshaw1@cox.net for a free 20 page Bluebird book.

Experience

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.

Past/Present Clients
Many

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