I have one nest that had 5 eggs in for 3 nest checks. The 4th nest check, there were 6 eggs. The next time I looked, today, there were 2 eggs and one approx 5 day old bird. The nest was not in a mess, there was nothing below the nest on the ground, I have a pole guard-one of those that is 30 inches long and hooks around the pole.
Another nest had 6 eggs for 4 nest checks, then today had 2 young about 5 days old .
My gourds are S & K with a short extension on them and a porch, tho the porches are breaking off. They are the crescent openings. I have never had a problem with missing babies. Do I have a night visitor?
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After 3 years, I gave up and put two gourds out, hoping to get other birds to nest. I did. Had one pair of tree swallows and ONE pair of purple martins. The PM had 4 hatchlings. One died in the nest and one was found on the ground two days running and died that night. Two flew successfully.
Any chance a snake could be getting past your pole guard? Have you noticed any crows attempting to perch near the gourds? With the crescent entrance I doubt a crow could get in but I have seen them cling to gourds and attempt to get the eggs or babies in round holes gourds the birds will usually build big mud dams when the crows do this to stop them.