[CT Birds] Bluebird Killers?

jtriana1 at sbcglobal.net jtriana1 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Aug 11 20:48:54 EDT 2011

I never say never with nature, but my guess would be House Sparrows.  I have
seen them do it to chickadees in my own yard.  Last year, we had a brood of
at least five in a nest box next to the garden.  I hadn't seen a House
Sparrow in the yard for months or years, but this particular morning I saw a
male chirping like crazy on top of the box.  I told my girls to go out and
scare it away, which they did.  I had to leave and so did they with their
mother.  I returned home 2-3 hours later and saw the male House Sparrow by
the box again.  I scared it away and then went inside to eat lunch.  From
the kitchen table I could see an adult chickadee go inside the box with a
green caterpillar.  It re-emerged with the same caterpillar a few seconds
later - bad sign.  I went out and opened the box.....empty.  I couldn't
figure out what happened.  Certainly the chickadee nestlings were too young
to fledge.  As I turned around to go back inside, I looked down and saw at
least 4 of the nestlings on the ground, dead, back of their necks snapped.
No doubt who did it.  Killing for killings sake. That's why when I check
bluebird boxes and find House Sparrows, I have no problem tossing out eggs
or nestlings.

My $0.02.

John Triana

-----Original Message-----
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org
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Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 3:36 PM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: [Bulk] [CT Birds] Bluebird Killers?

A person told me today that he has a number of bluebird nestboxes on his
property.  One of the boxes was used by a chickadee.  He said the male
bluebird decapitated all the newly hatched chickadees.  He claims he saw the
bluebird going in and out of the box however was not around the day the
hatchlings were killed.  Has anyone ever heard of this kind of aggression in
a bluebird?

Margaret Robbins

Wild Birds Unlimited
317 Federal Rd. Suite D1
Brookfield, CT 06804

Phone - (203)775-4888
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