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Swallows abandon nest-please advise!

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Old Wednesday 25th May 2005, 21:42   #1
Lady19thC
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Swallows abandon nest-please advise!

I live in MA and have 2 nest boxes up. We had tree swallows nest in box 2, no one in box number 1, and they had 5 eggs. We have been hit with a nor'easter, cold, rainy, very windy weather. I noticed I did not see the male tree swallow keeping guard, today, so I just went out to see what was going on. There are 5 eggs in the nest, but they are cold, and no sign of either of the tree swallows. What is more frustrating is, so far, no house sparrows have bothered them, and the nest is undisturbed, but abandoned. Is it normal for birds to abandon their nest in bad weather, like this? Since it is illegal to remove nests, when can I remove this one, and the eggs, so that they might come back and try again? How long can the eggs go without warmth? I believe it has been empty since yesterday evening, or possibly early this morning. Thank you.

Last edited by Lady19thC : Wednesday 25th May 2005 at 21:56.
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2005, 21:56   #2
shelley810
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First, it is possible the nest has NOT been abandoned. You didn't mention the female...had she been brooding? IF not, then everything might be ok and she will get with the program soon. The length of time you mentioned is upsetting, but not critical. If she HAD been brooding, something may have happened to her to cause her to leave. It is my observation that with inexperienced tree swallows, if the eggs are not good, or there is a death of a chick right after hatching, they peer in and hang around but they won't go in.....they aren't sure what to do.
It is my suggestion to leave the nest alone and wait and watch. It is not unheard of, though rare, for Tree Swallows to rebuild on top of an unviable nest...how they know....your guess is as good as mine. My bet is that they will return, watch their behavior at that time.
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2005, 22:50   #3
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Thanks, Shelly. I also read, online, that tree swallows don't start incubating until the last egg is laid, and if it is cold out, the female may wait up to 2 weeks before starting, and that the eggs are okay up to that time. Does that make any sense to anyone? Anyhow, I am leaving the nest alone and will watch. Better weather is to come on Saturday, but more rain for next week, which has me worried. There seems to be a major lack of insects, too, from the unusually cold May, up here. Not even much in the way of mosquitos, and we live across from wetlands. But it is strange that neither male nor female are anywhere to be seen. The winds have been 30-40mph sustained, and up to over 60mph gusting. I feel like we are in the middle of a week long hurricaine. I also read on another site that tree swallows will abandon a nest if it is cold or rainy, since there is a lack of insects for eating. I will see what happens, especially this weekend, and keep checking the boxes for any changes. I hope they come back, but I am not feeling good about this. Note-I stay at home, and can see the boxes from my family room sofa, so I watch them most of the day. The only thing I see as "wrong" is the weather. No one has been bothering them, and the nest is in perfect condition.
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2005, 23:45   #4
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I'm hoping the swallows will be alright. The weather here IS quite depressing! Today was a record for the coldest high temperature for May 25 since temps started being recorded. Saw a morel in the mulch bed in the city! I can't wait for the weather pattern to change.
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Old Thursday 26th May 2005, 00:38   #5
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Yah that!
It's been horrid all over. My tree swallows haven't had the chance to finish the nests, and should soon, considering the other activity they have been doing,,....constantly!
Hope for the best....mosquitos aplenty on a single sunny day!
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Old Thursday 26th May 2005, 11:27   #6
Lady19thC
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Hurrah! The tree swallows are back and defending their territory. Bad thing is that they are chasing away a bluebird, who seems interested in Box #1. Hopefully all is well with the eggs and there will be babies! If only the sun would come out!
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Old Friday 27th May 2005, 19:32   #7
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Good luck with the Swallows!
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Old Saturday 28th May 2005, 02:30   #8
shelley810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady19thC
Hurrah! The tree swallows are back and defending their territory. Bad thing is that they are chasing away a bluebird, who seems interested in Box #1. Hopefully all is well with the eggs and there will be babies! If only the sun would come out!
How wonderful!!!
Is there any way to get a second box up about 25' away from the Tree swallows, to accomodate the bluebirds? They accept each other and even become alies defending the territory against others.
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