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Very Confusing nesting behavior (1 Viewer)


I apologize for long post but in April I watched mom chickadee build nest on nest box camera. Layed 1st egg April 14. All together she layed 9. Only 2 eggs hatched a day apart. The 2nd baby was MUCH smaller and disappeared about 4 days after hatching. The 1st baby continued to do well. Slowly 1 by 1 the remaining unhatched eggs started disapearing. Baby still doing well starting to flutter wings at 13 days old. At this point only 2 out of the 7 unhatched eggs are visible on camera. The next day no unhatched eggs are visible. A day later I came home and nest was totally empty so I thought baby finally left all is well. To my surprise mom came back to sleep in nest that night (last night) but this morning when she left there were 3 eggs! She returned several times today and as I type she is sleeping in nest box again! Im confused. What happened to baby. Is this the same mom? Were did 3 eggs come from in one day? Could these be the unhatched eggs that she hid and still trying to incubate them? I assume its same mom because she can careless about sparrow spooker. Could she have saved these eggs. I feel so bad for her if she is trying to get them to hatch because I assume they are dead but she is even rolling them around. Also I assume she could not of layed 3 new eggs in 24 hours. Any thoughts on what is going on?


Still not sure what's going on but a mom not sure new or old one is in nest box tonight but as I'm watching her she just ate 2 of which I'm assuming are unhatched eggs. She has brought some new nesting materials back to box.

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
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United States
Sounds quite questionable as to what is going on. Hopefully, some one from your side of the pond that is familiar with this species will have some suggestions for you and us. I'll keep watching this thread for any answers ;)


I think it was mom that raised the baby. Noticed 2 more eggs after she ate 2 . she kept acting like she wanted to sit on them but it seemed as if something was bothering her. She could stop itching and eventually let the nest after awhile in the dark and haven't seen her since. Maybe mites. Have a feeling they were her eggs that never hatched that she didn't want to give up on.

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