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Old 05-29-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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dapjwy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania


I'm sorry for you and your chickadees.

Two years ago, I was excited to see a pair of wrens using one of my nestboxes. A pair of bluebirds was already nesting in one of the boxes out in the open. The box the wrens chose was placed too close to an outbuilding.

I excitedly wrote in to the bluebird forum saying that I now had bluebirds, tree swallows, and house wrens. I was told that the house wrens would wreak havoc on the nesting bluebirds and their young. I was unfamiliar with the house wrens and their behavior, but I've always loved the Carolina wren which I was told does not cause these problems.

At first I thought this was just a dummy nest, and I would remove the twigs inside--figuring I'd keep the pair busy so they wouldn't bother the bluebirds. One day I looked in and there were already eggs in the nest. The house wren is a native bird, so one cannot disturb the nest once it has eggs in it--not that I'd relish the idea.

Anyway, I had resigned myself to having house wrens out-competing my bluebirds (I'd been told on the forum that the bluebirds might get one successful brood raised before the house wrens appear later in the spring...but no second or third. I did check on the nest once or twice...and saw only the eggs in there, but no activity. I left them the whole season, but by fall they were still there unhatched. I still have no idea what happened to the parents. After that, I removed the nestbox from that location. Last year, was uneventful, and I'm hoping this year will be as well...but now, after reading your story, I'm concerned they'll come back.
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
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