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Brian Macauley — June 24, 11:23AM

Dead Eastern Phoebe Chicks

Hello, I've had Eastern Phoebe's nesting under my deck at a vacation home in Northern VT or several years. This year there were 5 eggs when I left on June 11th. I returned yesterday to find the chicks in the nest all dead and no parents around. There were several ants in the nest but otherwise the chicks looked normal, health and had feathers......Any ideas what might have happened? Should I leave the nest and remove the dead chicks or take the whole nest down? I have photos if anyone thinks they might answer questions...

Karl Curtis — June 24, 09:16PM

One can only speculate, but possibly it got cold enough that the adults could not keep them fed, though phoebes are relatively hardy. A predator may have gotten one or both adults. I would scrape the old nest off and, with any luck you'll get phoebes again. Toss the old nest in a rough area and nature will recycle it.

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