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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Poor Mrs. Robin

American Robin incubating on her nest over our front door.

A robin built a nest over our front door. She sat on the eggs for over a week. Today we did not see robins around at all, so we looked in the nest with a mirror. There are no eggs in the nest. A predator got them. Poor Mrs. Robin.

Ouch. We feed bad for the robins because they lost their eggs. The eggs were just about to hatch. We had gotten used to looking at the robin incubating over our door and we would quietly enter so as to disturb her as little as possible. Sometimes we would just use the back door. We looked forward to seeing the babies raised. We have seen much predation on birds' nests in all our years of watching and writing books about birds. The experience doesn't get any easier and we still feel angst when we see it.

It's hard to know what got the eggs, as we did not see the thief. Best guess is that it was a Blue Jay for we have seen them hanging around the yard and robins chasing them. But many things raid birds nests including, Chipmunks, Red Squirrels, Raccoons, snakes, crows and more.
There is about a 50% mortality on nests for birds who build open cups and a slightly less percentage for birds who nest in bird houses.

The one consolation is that we know the robins will build a new nest right away (in a new spot) and try again, and again, and again. Chances are they will be successful. The urge to reproduce is strong and that's what keeps bird populations going.


BLD in MT said...

That is a sad little tale. Nature is so wonderful and yet, often quite heartbreaking. Good luck to them on their next attempt. Try, try again.

BLD in MT said...

Oh, and I should have added that I absolutely adore and admire that you even used the backdoor in an attempt not to disturb. Awesome. Just awesome.

Anonymous said...

That is so sad. I know how you feel, the Euro House Sparrows took my 5 Chickadee eggs from the nest box and may have wounded the female as I only see 1 Chickadee around now. Last year in the same nest box they killed my mother House Wren & all her chicks. I am very upset about this! I plan to take down that nestbox as soon as I raid the HOSP eggs. Losing my native birds 2 yrs in a row is more than I can take. There are 7 other nestboxes but the HOSP never go near them, only the box a native is nesting in. I only see 4 of them but trapping is looking real good about now!! They are such destructive creatures. Good luck to your Robins in a new nest! Barb

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to report I had two robins nests which yielded six healthy young. One nest was perched on trim work over our front window next to our 3-car garage. My husband and I refused to use that garage door or park in that garage bay until the babies were gone so as not to disturb them. The other was built on top of a decorative lion's head fountain attached to a wall. I love to watch the babies, but it is always a stressful time until they leave the nest safely!

Anonymous said...

We have just had three two week old chicks raided from the nest on our first story veranda. We stopped using the veranda when we noticed them nesting and really enjoyed watching them grow - we were out at the shops around 7pm and came back and noticed the nest empty and the mother looking frantic with one leg gone (possible tucked right under her). We have chipmunks and squirrels in the area, so I'm guessing that they must have raided the nest. We are downright saddened by this - we so looked forward to the chicks leaving the nest in about a week.