• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

female house sparrow abandoning her mate and unhatched egg? (1 Viewer)

eenerz520

New member
Hi All,

I have a situation with two sparrows that have built a nest in my birdhouse. I think the female has abandoned the nest because her eggs didn't hatch. And the male is still staying with the nest calling her all day every day. It’s been like this for the past 2 days and I have not seen the female, who was usually in the nest most of the day before.

The male found the birdhouse about 2 months ago. He started guarding the house and trying to call and attract a female. Finally, about a month ago, a female came to the birdhouse. They mated and started building a nest.

I found 3 eggs in the house about 3 weeks ago. However, there was only one egg left shortly after that. I’m not sure what happened to the other egg.

Despite that, the female kept staying in the nest.

About 3 or 4 days ago, I saw them mating again. But all of a sudden, about 2 days ago, the male started desperately calling on and around the nest all the time, and I haven’t seen the female since.

That egg is still in there. It should have hatched since it’s been at least 3 weeks. The weather hasn’t been that hot. The hottest it ever got was about 93 F. I’m in Alexandria VA, US.

I have also only opened the birdhouse and seen the eggs 4 times, and I made sure I waited until they both left to check on the eggs.

Update: the male is now taking nesting materials out of his old nest in the birdhouse. He has been taking the materials to mostly a tree nearby. I also saw him going to some other places. Could he be rebuilding a nest somewhere else? He is still calling near the birdhouse though.

I feel so bad for the male and am also worried that something bad might have happened to the female. What could be happening? Is there anything I could do?

Thank you very much for your time. I would really appreciate any advice!
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Let nature take it's course I'm afraid. House Sparrows are quite adept at colonising if the habitat and conditions are suitable. This is why the male is still displaying, courting and mating - it's genetic and the urge to successfully breed.

Try not to disturb them in the bird house. House Sparrows do build dome shaped grass nests in trees which they line with finer grass, animal fibres and feathers. Good you enjoy the species, many others do not.
 

eenerz520

New member
Thanks a lot. That male sparrow has been around for a long time. He is very determined and a very good mate. It took him a long time to finally attract a female and start a family. He feeds the female all the time when she was incubating the eggs. It's just sad to see that he was abandoned and right back where he was.

I just revealed that I might have too much time on my hands...
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi eenerz and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

As Pat has said, just leave them to it, it usually comes out all right in the end. Please don't look in the nest, this is one of the reasons why the female will abandon the eggs, also it could attract predators (land as well as birds) to investigate to see what you find so interesting. You may think they have left, but often they are not far away and are keeping an eye on things.

You can read more about House Sparrows here in our Opus article. One way to help them would be to supply them with meal worms, mine can't get enough of them LOL.

Please let us know how they get on.
 

eenerz520

New member
Hi eenerz and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

As Pat has said, just leave them to it, it usually comes out all right in the end. Please don't look in the nest, this is one of the reasons why the female will abandon the eggs, also it could attract predators (land as well as birds) to investigate to see what you find so interesting. You may think they have left, but often they are not far away and are keeping an eye on things.

You can read more about House Sparrows here in our Opus article. One way to help them would be to supply them with mealworms, mine can't get enough of them LOL.

Please let us know how they get on.

Thank you very much for your kind reply. During the past several days, the female showed up twice, and she was even inviting the male to mate again. The male looked happy and content when the female was around, however, he ignored the female's invitation to mate. Then the female disappeared again, now the male is back to calling near the birdhouse non-stop. And sometimes he goes inside the house and just stays in there...

Very interesting...

I have never seen a wild bird get so attached to one nesting location, in this case, this birdhouse. He has been here guarding this birdhouse for the past 2 months!!! He did not let anyone get near it even when he didn't have a mate.

The birdhouse is right outside my kitchen window and back door. Sometimes he watches me through the window with curiosity. He is not very scared of me, probably because he has seen me too often.

Anyway, I will clean out the house once the breeding season is done. That house is his. I love this little bird so much. I hope he enjoys my yard and has more success next season.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thanks for the update eenerz.

Interesting behaviour indeed.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top