Bluebirds/bluebirds have taken over chickadee babies
Expert: Bluebird Bob Walshaw - 5/8/2014
Question We had a chickadee pair nest in our box...photographed the eggs, red and white speckled, have a photo of mama chickadee on the eggs...got photos of the hatched cuties...then the next day video of the bluebirds and chickadees battling over the box...I feared the bluebirds killed the chickadee babies. Went to check this afternoon and the bluebirds have added pine straw all around the chickadee babies but the babies are all in there alive...they are opening their mouths like they are hungry when I look in the box but not sure if mama bluebird is feeding them or not. Our wild bird store has never heard of the nest being taken over with babies in it. Any advice? Want them to be fed but would rather nature handle it if the bluebirds are not just neglecting them and nesting around them. We have added another bluebird box about 25 feet away. :)
Answer This is not unusual as the Chickadees are the lowest on the bird totem pole. I have often had Bluebirds build a nest over Chickadee eggs. I know that sometimes it is difficult but I would let nature take its course. (Sometimes Mother Nature is not a kind Mother!) If you don't have my free Bluebird book please send your mailing address to me at email@example.com. 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.