them, and you don't want that to happen.
Phoebe loves nest changing time, because she gets to cuddle the young birds while I make them a nest out of fresh dry grasses. I take the old nest away as most of them are infested with bluebird blowflies, Protocalliphora sialis. Specific to bluebirds, this bluebottle fly's maggoty larvae suck the nestlings' blood at night, then writhe back down into the nest during the day, where the adults can't find them to pick them out. Heavy infestations can weaken the young significantly, so I change all nests when the young are a week old.
Here I am, making a new nest. I've put the old one in the bucket to take it away and count the larvae. Some people think you should leave all those larvae in the nest, so parasitic wasps can infest them. I don't like the notion that maybe 50-175 maggots are going to suck my babies' blood every night, and I don't like having them die in the nest from parasite infestations, so I take a more ham-handed approach to managing blowflies. I get the heck rid of them. Same goes for mites; it's been a terrible year for mites, and I've lost a few broods to them. Most nests leave me swarming with them, so I've been busy changing nests and rinsing the boxes with boiling water before replacing the grass and birds. It's the least I can do for them, as they bring me so much joy.
It was quite a weekend. I'll tell you about it later, when I've had a chance to download some photos. Man. I'm whipped sideways, but in a good way. And completely out of canned posts. Yikes. Not where a blog ant likes to be. Bear with me?