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So upset - Tree Swallow seems to have taken off

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Old Friday 21st June 2019, 23:43   #1
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So upset - Tree Swallow seems to have taken off

We have had a tree swallow build a nest in one of our boxes, this is the first time I have ever had a bird nest in our backyard and I have loved watching her every morning. She had laid 5 eggs and I've been watching her come in and out of the nest then start to remain in her box for longer periods of time. Every once in a while I will peek in and she'll be sitting on her eggs, I try not to do this too often because I don't want to scare her. But the last week here has been cold and rainy. The dad is no longer coming to check on her, I haven't seen him in probably 3 days now.. but my concern is that the mom is also gone.. I haven't seen her all day and when I opened the box one of her eggs was cracked open with part of it missing. I can't find the other part of the shell anywhere in her nest nor on the ground so I wonder if a predator got in? I know there is nothing I can do, but her other eggs are still in there and I am heartbroken that she seems to be gone :( Does anyone have any advice or insight to offer?
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 01:37   #2
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Cold and rainy weather is hard on insectivores. It's possible that the adults were having trouble finding enough to eat while still incubating their eggs. It seems cruel, but they are better off abandoning the nest and surviving to try another time. If the parents were to die trying to hatch their eggs, not only would the eggs not hatch, but the parents wouldn't be around to raise another brood, either later this year, or maybe next year.

Is is also possible that they were driven from the nest by another bird species, such as House Sparrows.

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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 02:34   #3
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Thank you for your response. What should I do? Should I wait a while longer and then remove the nest and eggs? Is there a chance that another bird may lay more eggs?
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 05:33   #4
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Hi friedela and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

No, leave the box alone. If they want to re-use the box they will clear it out themselves. And please, once they start nesting in a box, don't ever look in it. Human disturbance can be one of the reasons for birds abandoning their nest. If you want to follow what's happening in a box, it's safest to have a nest camera installed, but it has to be put in before the birds start to use it.

However, Jmepler could well be right that it's the lack of insects if you have a cold spell (has happened here too).
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Old Saturday 22nd June 2019, 14:04   #5
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Well I woke up this morning and immediately rushed to the window to see if I could see any activity and there was mamma poking her head out! She she's back! I'm so relieved!
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