Yesterday, I was out to check on the squirrel proof Feeder with the house wren nest. On Monday, Mr. Neil sent over photos showing that three of the four eggs had hatched. I wanted to see if the final egg hatched and found something completely unexpected:
One chick and no eggs. Huh? What the heck happened? I have a couple of theories:
1. It was very hot on Tuesday--well into the 90s. This feeder is made of metal and gets late afternoon sun. Did the other chicks die from the heat and the wrens remove them?
2. A snake came up the pole and was able to eat the other chicks? But why is only one chick left? Usually snakes take everything...unless this was a really tiny snake?
I don't know. I did notice that the male didn't sing like he usually does--has he given up on the territory? I did see a wren leave the feeder a few times, so I know at least one of the pair is still feeding this chick. I'll be interested to see if this bird actually leaves the nest.
It's a demonstration of how wrens and many other bird species play the odds when raising chicks. They'll go for an extra brood, they'll try out a new next spot, they lay four to five eggs--if it works, great! If it doesn't, they'll know better next time.