It sounds like you have a House Wren in your yard.  They pierce holes in 
other bird's eggs, carry the eggs away, and then dismantle the nest.  Cute 
little birds, but little devils.  It's too late now, but the empty boxes 
should have been removed before the House Wren came around.

Tommie Rogers
Rock Port, MO
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "chris barrigar" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:41 PM
Subject: Bluebird Nest Box Mysteries - no sighting

I am hoping that someone may be able to shed some light on my nest box 
occurances of late.

Two weeks ago, I checked my 4 Bluebird boxes and found that one had 4 
Bluebird eggs in a nest.

I was out of town last week, and upon return Sunday, I noticed the 
surprising chatter and calls of a pair of Chickadees in the yard. As our 
house sits in the middle of open farm fields and pastures with no mature 
trees around, I was surprised to see two C. Chickadees coming and going from 
one of the previously vacant bluebird boxes.  I checked the box they were 
beginning to occupy, and they had about 2 inches of moss/lichen debris 
already in the bottom. "Wohoo", I thought!

Tuesday afternoon/evening,  . . . no cheerful banter of chickadees could be 
heard throughout the yard. I stood back and watched awhile as a pair of 
Bluebirds sat vigile in limbs over the "chickadee's box". Puzzled, I decided 
to take a peek in there again. Not even a sliver of moss/lichen was in the 
box?! However, there was evidence on the ground below of what I thought 
could be a possible eviction.

With this I decided to check the other boxes (which I had not visited since 
before my business trip). When I got to and opened the box that held the 
eggs, I expected to be greeted by hungry cries of young. Nope, nothing was 
there - only faint remnants of nest material. I couldn't even find nest 
material on the ground under or around this box.

This is my first year watching Bluebird boxes; therefore I have no 
experience to draw upon to explain the one bluebird nest with 4 eggs having 
vanished. Will Bluebirds carry there eggs and nest to another site/box? Why 
would they remove their nest materials if they were to move nest sites? I 
would think that if a predator had happened upon the nest either only the 
eggs would be gone and nest left intact, or at least I would expect the nest 
to be left in shambles with material strewn about.

Then there's the question with the Bluebirds sitting over the chickadee's 
box. I feel that this was an eviction by the bluebirds, but why did the 
chickadee's use of a vacant box bother them? Did it stem from their nest box 

If you have an idea or even mere speculation, I welcome responses either 
privately or to the list if you feel others would benefit.

Thanks in advance, and Good Birding!

Chris Barrigar
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