This is our first full season with bluebird boxes. You may recall, last year Brad built me a couple nesting boxes for Mothers Day from him & Tank. I tracked activity and checked the boxes often. I was so thrilled to find a bluebird nest in Box One on April 18!!
I kept monitoring Box One, more frequently than I probably should have.
hatchlings on May 12
I couldn't tell if they were dead or alive.
nestlings are alive and hungry on May 13
more hungry nestlings visible on May 14
looking snug on May 16
noticeable change on May 18
hmmm...they sure are quiet on May 20
large goop found inside entrance on May 21
On day 9-10, I removed what looked like bird (?) poop. The yucky goop looked way too large for a blue bird size dropping. I found it odd that the babies were not active. I didn't touch them, although online sources say you can handle baby birds without effecting wellbeing. Google says the goop is likely a Fecal Sac.
We had unseasonable hot and humid weather for several days. Maybe that had something to do with lack of activity?
Incase you are wondering, our boxes face East. There are various opinions on preferred box opening direction and even location.
I found the box opening blocked on May 24
Day 13 since the first two eggs hatched, or day 12 for the others.
the opening was blocked with pine needles and grass, same as the nest
Instead of bluebird happiness, we now have bluebird sadness. I looked everywhere for little bodies, or a sign of whatever went wrong. I never saw the baby birds open their eyes. Sadly it appears the baby blue birds never fledged. Maybe they died and the parents removed their babies, then blocked the box?
I learned baby birds go through three stages: Hatchlings (usually 0-3 days) Nestlings (usually 3-13 days) and Fledgling (13-14 days or older). Baby birds fledge 18-21 days. Some resources say you are not suppose to open the box after 12 days.
I have searched online, and am not finding answers that match. I have several good bluebird ref sites bookmarked. Definitely planning to ask the knowledgeable folks for advice at my fav bird store in the big city, next time I head that direction.
Any thoughts on what happened and/or suggestions on how to prevent whatever happened, from happening again?