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Paul Rentz

Corvallis, OR, United States

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You can ignore the first mystery, it was a dead hummer at my feeder then after that I had a couple of nest mysteries, the still shots show what I was up against. First, a Black-capped Chickadee nest…and only one ‘hatchling’ with some four or five other eggs that never hatched. Second, a Western Bluebird nest that after the season was over I found a dead what I think was a female Violet-green Swallow in, underneath- and a couple of Bluebird eggs that never hatched. Two nest oddities.

Category

Nests in boxes

A couple of nest mysteries

4 responses to “A couple of nest mysteries”

  1. Robyn Bailey says:

    Wow, interesting tales. I wonder if the bluebird killed the swallow to take over the nest, or if it happened to die of natural causes and the bluebird just decided that it might as well use the box. The feathers in the nest indicate that the swallow was likely the original box occupant.

    Regarding the dead hummer, that’s really odd. Was the hummingbird feeder clean and did it have fresh sugar water? If it spoils, it can be toxic to the birds. It looks like it died while in a state of torpor.

    • Paul says:

      Robyn, this was in ‘warm weather days’- I wondered about torpor too, even checked back and…
      As Coroner I must aver,
      I thoroughly examined him.
      And he’s not only merely dead,
      he’s really most sincerely dead.
      (Stolen from the ‘Wizard of Oz’.)
      The hummingbird mix was fresh and no other hummer died. Of course I did change it right after this incase this one would transfer any disease to liquid.

    • Paul says:

      The other mystery is the feather at 2:35, what bird is that from?

  2. Shaun says:

    Hi Paul,
    I recall watching with fascination, a few yellow-jacket wasps fending off a number of ruby-throated humming birds from a humming bird feeder like the one in your photograph. The humming birds clearly understood that the wasps were in charge. The wasps at the feeder simply turned around and slowly approached the humming birds if they got too close and the humming birds instantly backed-off. I wonder if your humming bird was stung by a wasp/bee?

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