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Old 05-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
Great Horned Owl
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA

Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post

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.
Thanks, Dap. I was bummed when I saw what they had done, and I caught the wren red-handed coming from the nest. Sad it was to see how well developed the chicks were that they had killed. I'm thinking that next year I'll take down all of the nest boxes for a year and then see if the wren doesn't find an alternative site to wreak their havoc and malicious destruction.

Was it a Carolina Wren that did the damage with you? These villains are house wrens.
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
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