Help! How do I protect my Robins?
(Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)
North American Robin
I'm looking for some advice on protecting two Robin nests and the babies when they fledge. I've done research on the internet, but some worries have not been answered.
I apologize for this post being SO long! I really appreciate anyone who reads it and replies with some advice!! =)
We've always had nests around the yard, usually Robins. We live in Peterborough, on the canal and have A LOT of wildlife around.
Just in the past 2 days we had a Skunk and a Porcupine in our yard, plus for about a month we've had gutsy Raccoons hanging around and coming up on our decks.
Also, the neighborhood cats love to hang out on our yard, but are doing it less, but one male likes to spray all around our yard when we're not around.
The one nest is right beside our front door in a 'Welcome' sign plant basket hung on the wall.
This Momma Robin is used to us and doesn't even chirp while we are near her nest, just stays close by.
The front porch is small, but I'm worried that an animal could jump on the side railings and easily jump into the nest.
I live with my parents and want to find a somewhat nice looking way to make it hard for animals to get on the railings, plus a way that is safe for the birds.
I've read about using chicken wire, string, and hanging CD's to keep animals off, but could those options be bad for the robins?
Would the reflections off the CD's not bother Robins too?
As for around the front porch I think I'm going to:
1)sprinkle coffee grounds in the gardens
2) sprinkle dried Rue (a strong smelling herb cats dislike) on the grass
3)I've already sprayed vinegar in a semi circle on the ground around the porch
Would a decorative bunch of vines on the railings keep animals off?
Would that possibly be dangerous for the Robins who may get stuck in it?
Also, a couple houses down have at least one Starling nest, starlings being one of the main predators to local birds, and very aggressive!
I know its legal for me to wreck the nest, but I doubt my neighbor would give me permission, and if there are eggs in it I just couldn't ruin it.
We have a lot of the predator birds around, such as Blue Jays and Sparrows. I read that one solution is to hang an umbrella over the nest, since birds usually dive and attack from above.
But would this solution be negative for my Robins, like blocking their view while looking for danger, or make flying from the nest more difficult.
It is a covered porch, but obviously birds can easily dive in still. Plus, my parents don't like the look of a random hanging umbrella.
Any ideas or opinions?
My other Robin's nest is in my backyard, under our large high deck that is about a storey off the ground. Its on top of the wooden lattice fencing that acts as a wall blocking the way under the one side of the deck, so its barely under the deck and very easy to see.
The nest overlooks our lower deck (which is attached to the lattice), if I stood on it I could easily reach her nest.
I'm worried that an animal could easily climb the lattice and get her nest. We have vines that climb the lattice fence, but they wont be green and leafy till mid-summer, and right now could possibly help an animal climb up. I thought about putting Chicken wire over the lattice to make it harder to climb... or would that make it easier?
Would that be bad for the Robins (ex. Get stuck in it)?
The lower deck also has a railing that an animal could get on and easily jump over onto the nest. And there are a lot of easy ways to get under the deck, another spot animals could attack from.
So this is all about protecting the nests, but when the babies leave and are on the ground not flying yet I'll have a whole new set of problems!
The last Robins nest we kept an eye on a couple summers ago was fine until the babies left, and they stayed on our high back deck while they all couldn't fly. One night while we were sleeping something killed 2 of the 3 fledglings on our back deck.
We helped the parent as much as we could with the baby that was hopping around on our yard. We would carry it away from the road when it got too close, and hide it in bushes with the parent whenever we couldn't be around.
If anyone could give me any advice I'd greatly appreciate it! It would be a huge help if I could also get advice on keeping the Bird predators away such as Blue Jays and Starlings.
Thank you for taking the time to read this long note!!
I'll probably post another (shorter one) when the babies become fledglings.
THANK YOU!!Hello Cara, I am re-posting this today and I do hope you get lots of answers to your questions - Bless you for caring so much about our feathered friends!
I will also post this on our Facebook page so that our Facebook followers can also read your question.