Good advice, Thanks Kevin.
You may also try putting in an upside-down chicken wire basket at the floor
of the nest box. The fly larvae will fall through the mesh and not be able
to get back up to the nesting material to further parasitize the nestlings.
I've seen references to the size and design of these mesh baskets, but can't
place my fingers on one at the moment. I'll dig into my nest box books to
look for it.
The Greene County,
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From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of MARIE/KEVIN
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 6:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] bluebird nestlings dead
Try lifting the nest and see if there are fly larva at the bottom of the
nest. The summer broods in my boxes used to fall prey to these blood
suckers. If so, clean the nest out use some parrot spray from the pet store
on the interior. I lift my nests gently and brush out the larvae on a weekly
basis. This keeps the population low enough for the nestlings to handle
without spraying until they fledge. I then clean and spray the box between
nestings. If it is just the heat, try attaching something to the box that
would shade it in the afternoon. The time is getting tight but they may try
----- Original Message -----
From: Lee Allaben - Century21 Advantage<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 5:57 PM
Subject: [VTBIRD] bluebird nestlings dead
i've tried for five years to get bluebirds to nest in one of my boxes.
This year they did and had 4 eggs hatch. The nestlings were just over a week
old. I checked them two days ago and they were fine. This afternoon, after
setting out some mealworms, I checked the box and all four were dead. There
is no sign of disturbance. They were very pale brown in color. Is it
possible the heat killed them? Is it too late for the adults to nest again?