You may have seen those tiny, peeping faces all over your backyard, but do you know what bluebirds do with unhatched eggs? The answer is not as straightforward as you may think!
Bluebirds would abandon their unhatched eggs and move onto next nest for more reproduction. They have high reproduction rate. The unhatched eggs would be attended later, hatch on their own or eaten by predators.
In this fascinating blog post, we will discuss how the bluebirds will lay their eggs in another bird’s nest and then abandon them. The article also touches on the possibility that this may be why the birds became endangered in the first place. Check out for yourself to find out more about this fascinating topic!
Bluebirds are now extinct in many parts of North America because they were over-hunted for food during colonial times when settlers brought European chickens with them.
Today, the bluebird is listed as a protected species, and some states have laws that protect them to help them restore their population.
Why will there be unhatched eggs by bluebirds?
Bluebirds can lay as many as 10 eggs each year. They usually use the area around the nest for about 2 days to incubate the eggs. The young bluebird will hatch after 36 days.
They hatch in order. First to hatch is the firstborn, followed by the second-born, and so on until the last one hatched from egg number ten.
When there are many young birds around the nest, it can get very crowded. Because of this, not all of them will survive. They may waste away or fall prey to larger predators like raccoons, snakes, or even hawks that come to their nests and kill them outright.
Bluebirds are very good at abandoning their eggs in other birds’ nests! It is because they have a very high reproductive success rate. The young might not survive, but most of them will stay, and then they will be able to find another nest and raise their own young.
How will bluebirds abandon the eggs?
The bluebird parents will usually lay eggs all over the place. The bluebird parents generally start building their nests near the end of April and will keep on going until the end of May. Both parents are involved in making their nests, and both of them bring food to feed their young.
When breeding season comes, they will start to look for a nest site where they can put many eggs to raise more young, which is called “begging for more food.” They keep on searching for nest sites until June.
What Do Bluebirds Do With Unhatched Eggs?
Bluebirds are inquisitive birds. When they find a nest of eggs, they do not immediately leave for good this time around. They will often try to hatch the eggs with their own young. If that does not work, they will abandon the unhatched eggs here and there so their future young can try to hatch them on their own later when it is more convenient for them.
While the bluebirds are away, other animals like raccoons, opossum, and even squirrels will usually raise their young in the nest of abandoned eggs. They will eat any hatchlings that may have been left by the bluebirds and may also kill the young that were left behind by the bluebirds themselves.
When you hear a crying baby bird, there are several things you should look out for! First, find out if it is a young bird. Second, the baby bird should not be in pain or crying with its eyes closed. You should also see some red feathers on its head.
Can we move such nests?
It is challenging to move the nests of other birds. When we try to move a nest of other birds, there are strong chances that the nest will get wet, and the rain may kill the young bird.
It is better to wait until it has hatched, feed it, and teach it how to prefer its own nest more than any other one. That way, even after you have moved away from a nest site, your baby bird will stay put in its new home instead of leaving it for another one elsewhere.
How many bluebirds will hatch?
About half of all eggs laid by a bluebird pair do not hatch as a rule of thumb. If there are twelve eggs, five of those will hatch successfully. If a bluebird raises two broods in a year, the number of hatchlings can be as high as nineteen.
If a first brood hatches successfully and then you move its nest to protect it from predators, you must keep an eye out for the new hatchlings that may be coming about in that nest.
Make sure these young bluebirds are moving around independently, even if their feathers are still wet and not perfectly dry yet. Each member of the flock must stick with their kind because otherwise, they will become easy prey for many animals in your backyard.
Bluebirds’ nests can hold up to eight eggs that take around 26 days to hatch. However, only half of those eggs will survive – and only half of those chicks will live to maturity.
They have a 25% of hatching successfully and a 75% of dying. That’s still very high, but it’s not unheard of!
Also, they’ll go after other nests that they find to raise their own young and will raise multiple broods in the same year. This means you may be looking at more than one pair of bluebirds at your house!
Bluebirds are very social birds. They need to live in colonies to survive so that they can all raise their young together and help one another out when things get tough or when predators come and take a few off your hands.
Why would a female bluebird abandon the eggs?
Bluebirds are great parents! They are both typically swamped for most of the day and night, trying to find food for their young and protecting them from predators. That’s why they’ll abandon unhatched eggs that cannot be kept warm or are in danger of being picked off by a predator.
Sometimes, if more than one egg is unhatched together, the female bluebird will make another nest at a different spot. This is why finding a set of unhatched eggs can be pretty confusing!