Monday, July 10, 2006

Loss

I have alot to post about our RAPTOR fundraiser last night, but I will get to that when I feel like it. While doing my daily nest peek at the blubirds, I found all three chicks dead.
There were no parasites, nest damage, blood or injuries to the chicks. Rolling them over, I noticed that their keels (breast bones) were much more prominent than the last check. I had not seen the parents all morning, so I am assuming that they starved. The thing that is really haunting me is that some of their fecal matter attached to them was still wet, so they had not been dead for long.
If I had only checked them sooner...

7 comments:

mom in law said...

I am sorry about your loss. Maybe someone would know why or at least have a theory.

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh Susan, I'm sorry. Wonder what could have happened?

beckperson said...

Susan, so sorry to read about the poor little bluebirds. You and the girls must be heartbroken!

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks, everyone.
The girls were suprisingly cool and professional about it. They said, "Awww" and Isabelle said, "well, they can try again and have more babies."
True that they could try for a third clutch, but these parents, if they are even alive, must be tired...laying eggs twice in a month has to be exhausting.
Sigh...

MojoMan said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry! You worked so hard to help your bluebirds this year. I was looking forward to your reports of their progress. Let's hope they try again, even if it's next year.

LauraHinNJ said...

Maybe this is their first nesting season and need to learn?

Really, if you checked them yesterday, what could have gone wrong since then? Will babies starve that quickly? Both parents can't have been gone and not feeding them for 24 hours right?

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dear Susan,

Well, it's a time for loss, isn't it? I am so sorry and sad for you. These chicks do look as though they have starved. My guess: the female bluebird has been killed, and as the male does not have a brood patch or the instinct to brood the young, they died of exposure. He may have continued to try to feed them, but if they're chilled, as they would be if they were left unbrooded overnight, they won't gape, and thus won't get fed. The male will quickly desert in the absence of his mate and the stimulus of begging chicks. When the female is killed when chicks are older than 8 days, the male will continue to feed them, and they are able to thermoregulate well enough to survive it. But these 4-day-old chicks never had a chance. I'm so sorry.
Luther disappeared last evening. I am hoping he simply left, but I may never know. I haven't heard from Bill at all, and I don't know if he's OK, either. Gotta tell ya, it's a rough day all around. Big hug to you.