Date: 6/23/20 3:52 pm
From: David Starrett <starrettda...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Help! Dead Bluebirds
In Missouri I had constant battles with House Sparrows that killed bluebird clutches. Bluebird parents sometimes lost the battle defending their young. We tried all the sparrow deterrents, but I finally took the boxes down. I once witnessed a sparrow sitting on a feeder 20 feet away, watching for the bluebird parent to leave the box, then shoot like a bullet straight across the yard into the box and had murdered the clutch in less than 2 minutes, ejecting some of the young. Was really disturbing to see nature in the raw.


David Starrett
Keene, NH

From: Vermont Birds <VTBIRD...> on behalf of Richard Harlow <raharlow...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1:31 PM
To: <VTBIRD...> <VTBIRD...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Help! Dead Bluebirds

That is highly unlikely. Swallows don't have the kind of bill that will
do that kind of damage. However, House Sparrows do and have been know to
do damage to Swallows, Bluebirds, nesting in boxes when their
nest/box/hole has been disturbed or removed. I suggest you look for
either a wren, house sparrow or other nest box bird that has the bill
and behavior to do damage to other species.

Dick Harlow
Middlebury, VT

On 6/23/20 14:04, kcaterer . wrote:
> My father has trouble with swallows entering the bluebird boxes and killing
> the family.
> On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 1:41 PM Martha Pfeiffer <
> <0000001a1bef7484-dmarc-request...> wrote:
>> A friend of mine went to clean out the Bluebird box from this first
>> nesting. He hadn't seen any activity in more than a few days. What was
>> inside the box was a male bird = dead - and all the hatchlings were dead.
>> I have photo. The female was busy feeding until recently. There is no
>> sign of disturbance of the nest, no feathers strewn around, nothing violent
>> occurred, The male is fully intact. I have a photo. Please, any ideas
>> what could have happened to this family of Bluebirds?Disease??
>> What???Thanks for any response.
>> Martha Pfeiffer, Dorset
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