Hello Fellow Bird Watchers:
For about 10 years in a row now, we get an Eastern Phoebe couple who build a nest under the joists of our backyard deck. It is absolutely amazing to see them build the nest, and every year they also seem to build "dummy" nests, in that there are about 3-4 partially built nests, and then the one in which they eventually lay eggs.
The problem is that nothing has ever fledged in any year. Every year something gets to their nests soon after the eggs are laid or soon after they hatch, and the eggs are either eaten or the babies carried away. I have never seen a snake in the area, but we do have black snakes. And while never witnessing it, I have seen blue jays and cowbirds come from under the deck after I noticed the nests destroyed.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to possibly protect these nests, allowing the parents to get to and from, but making it hard for snakes or other birds to get to it? I am stumped and while I realize it is nature, it is quite depressing to see it occur every year.