Eggs that don't hatch. Should they be removed?

by Ruth
(Temecula, Calif, USA)

My experienced pair have several eggs that did not hatch. This is the first time this has happened in four successful clutches of five to seven. There are eight to nine eggs (one which I relocated from an abandoned nest and added to theirs.) Just one of their eggs hatched. The baby has started to sprout feathers while the unhatched eggs remain in the nest. I have hesitated removing the eggs since I have to reach far into my flight and remove the nest entirely to take the eggs out. I fear that the baby could be abandoned. Is it risky to allow the eggs to remain until the baby fledges?

As long as the eggs have remained in the nest this long, I would not run the risk of upsetting things by removing the nest to take the eggs out. The only thing that could cause a problem would be for an egg to break open and that's not anything serious, just a mess. If that happened, then I'd take the nest out, clean it and replace it. I have not had any eggs break in the nest boxes. If the parent birds are taking care of the one chick, I would not be concerned about the excess eggs. Hope this helps, Jeanie

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