First nesting pair has disappeared, leaving behind one egg

HU-509888430

After installing our first bluebird box, we had our first pair of bluebirds show up in early March. They were very active for a long time, coming and going from the nest box. A few weeks ago, however, I noticed the female seemed to have disappeared. We saw the male, always away from the box, just a couple of additional times, and now he has disappeared as well. I finally got up the courage to peek inside the box. (I had never monitored before.) I saw what appeared to be a well-built nest and one egg left behind. I never saw any fledglings, although I suppose they could have fledged and left without our noticing them.


Any ideas as to what has happened? I'm quite disappointed. What do I do next? Remove the egg, now that weeks have passed since seeing either parent? Remove the nest?


Hoping for a healthy next box again soon! Thanks!


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CaWill

I have been hosting bluebirds for 13 seasons now & once in a while this happens. The egg was not viable apparently and the parents just left - I would imagine there were others eggs which hatched and fledged. If you were not monitoring the nestbox it would be pretty impossible to know. The bluebirds are quite tolerant of monitoring - just don't overdo it. When I have eggs in a box I look in about every 2 or 3 days to be sure there are no cracked one (this would draw ants) or one that has disappeared (could be a coon, snake, or other predator). I would go ahead & remove the nest after "weeks" and maybe they will return. Good luck.

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HU-509888430

Thanks! Will keep this in mind.


I looked in just a couple of days ago, and the lone egg was gone. Today, a pair of bluebirds were investigating the box, perhaps flying in and out a few times! This is the first encouraging activity I have seen in a long time. I don't know if this is the pair from earlier, or a new pair, but I'm hopeful that this is good news.

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