Bad News First | Week 10
Hello birders! This week, I unfortunately have some sad news. We encountered three nests with dead hatchlings. This is around the time when we tend to see tragedies like this, and it’s sad that we have to deal with these kinds of things.
Both of our nuthatch nests had dead hatchlings, which is terrible. The first nestbox had fallen down, but the hatchlings had fledged before then. This did result in one egg cracking. The other nest had unhatched eggs inside as well as one visible dead hatchling.
Our last nest, a titmouse box, had five dead hatchlings inside. The hatchlings did not look mangled or predated, so I suspect the deaths were caused by parasites. I will not be including photos in this blog.
When seeing dead hatchlings, take a stick and clean out the box, dumping the nest’s remains into a wooded area that is not on the trail. Cleaning out the box helps to ensure that the box can be reused in the same nesting season and prevents parasitic and bacterial growth inside the nest. Make sure to clean boxes after encountering these things. It’s sad, but nature is nature!
In better news, we did have our first fully fledged nest. Six chickadee hatchlings fledged without any complications, which was a good moment of hope amidst the sadness this week. See you guys next week for the last blog post.