Hello-help please

we have a starling box & so far this year we had one brood of 5 fledged! Unfortunately the camera in the box got really hazy & it was difficult to see but there is a dead baby in the nest now with maggots! There is a set of starlings-not sure if it’s the original or different trying to reorganise the nest & bringing in new material! Will they just ignore the dead body & build on top or what is likely to happen??

thanks for any answers.

  • Can’t believe no one has replied to this!
  • In reply to Ianthe K:

    Hi Ian, Sorry that no one has replied to you. This might be because at this time of year there is so much bird activity that threads quickly disappear from the front page of the Forum and some of the posters here are particularly interested in one or a few species of birds and they may never look at the community's home page which shows threads in the order in which anyone starts a new one or posts on any of them. Sorry, I am not an expert but I imagine that the new pair of Starlings might have gone ahead and covered the corpse with new nesting material. It is possible that by the time any new chicks would hatch that the maggots would have turned into flies and flown away and the nest box might have no more vermin than in a nest which started fairly clean, but this is only pure speculation on my part, of course. What happened to the nest and did you do anything to it or just observe what happened? Best of luck with your bird watching in the future.

    Kind regards, 


  • Hi Ian
    Like Ann I'm sorry no-one got back to you, if I had seen your post I would have made sure you got at least one reply.

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  • Likewise, I too would have replied if I had seen the post as I used to get starlings every year in a nest box at a previous house. There is a serious, ongoing issue with the architecture of the site, which means questions and issues raised like this one are drowned out, and lost by chat type posts.

    Re your question, my guess is the second nest won't get very far. Depends very much on where the location is and what sort of food supply there is. I never experienced a second brood, but did sometimes get returning or second pairs turning up for a week or two then disappearing til next Spring.

    My guess is second broods would be very reliant on Summer weather being damp. A dry Summer turns the clay ground here to concrete so very difficult for them to raise young. Likewise, worms go deeper, and leatherjackets are much later in their cycle.
  • I should have also said that five fledging is very good. Must be a good feeding area for them, so that and the weather being cooler and damper at the moment, they may well egg lay again. Would be very hard to get another five fledging this year though.
  • Sorry to all I’ve written a couple of posts back to you but there seemed to be a glitch & they wouldn’t go on the site! Update is they are back with a vengeance & obviously would like rid of the body! Male is trying to get it out to no avail & the female looks like she’s not having any of it!!
    Damp is not a problem here on the west coast of Scotland Robbo & we have nice sandy soul! There seems to be loads of starlings at the moment all creating a rucchas!
  • Sounds like optimum starling habitat! Would be interested to know if they do have a successful second brood. As well as my own house prev, I've not seen any starlings in this area (not many so easy to monitor) have second broods.

  • Hi Ian
    I know you are not supposed to interfere with an active nest site, but if the dead body is stopping them using the box and they can't get rid of it themselves I would be tempted to remove it if you can and see what happens.

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  • In reply to Robbo:

    Robbo said:
    As well as my own house prev, I've not seen any starlings in this area (not many so easy to monitor) have second broods.

    I can't be certain Robbo but I think my lot have second broods, I've had an onrush of youngsters (up to 30 at any one point) and it has now gone quiet again now they are older, but if this year goes like the others I should get another batch later on.

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  • Not convinced that's a good idea, Alan. It wouldn't happen if there was no camera or if it was a nest in a tree hole. I suppose there might be case if it ends up as a, 'nothing to lose' option, but not if they're still regularly going in the box. Just my opinion.