Robin Worries

by Several of our readers
(Across Ontario)

Itasara wrote to say ... My husband came in frantic this morning; he was upset and out of breath. He knew something was wrong with the robins outside near our pine tree. Two were sitting on the ground, just sitting there looking upset, and then he saw a crow which he he chased away down the street. On the ground was a small dead robin baby.
I'm glad I found this site and I know that nature does have its unfortunate way, but I’m keeping an eye out today on the pine tree. Robins keep flying in and out so there are more babies in the tree. He was sure that there was a nest in our Pine tree but I’ve been watching all spring which hasn’t been very long in coming this year and one of the few trees that had foliage on it compared to the others that were a month late! I didn’t think that they built a nest and pine trees but I guess I was wrong.
For a couple of weeks I’ve been hoping the robins would come back to our yard to build a nest. I throw a few packaged mealworms out there for them and tried to keep the squirrels away with my bird seed near the house every day. I just threw out a few blueberries and a few minutes later a Robin came and picked one up. It’s really cute to watch them do that.
Last summer I had two nests in our yard and two years years before we had a nest under the eaves of the house, on the second floor, and a drain pipe outside my bedroom window. I’ve never seen the birds fly off. The one outside my window, I watched every day as the eggs hatched only babies up. It was quite high I wasn’t sure how they would ever get out of The nest. I Whistled and sang to them and the parents did get used to me and one day the babies were huge they were two maybe three in the nest (hard to tell,) and they were gone one day. I kept hoping this year and last year that they would come back to that drain pipe but they didn’t. Then there was the one in my bushes last year and I kept an eye on them and they too just disappeared. When they were quite large, and one night I took a look at them and they were there, the next day the nest was empty. I never saw the learning to fly or where they went or if they were OK.
Then there was last year another nest, higher up in a tree next to my garage and I kept an eye on them. One day they were two babies and a blue egg on the ground. I was so saddened for the mother but when I took a closer look - as much as I could - there was one baby left in the nest and the parents were coming back-and-forth to feed. Again one day they were gone. So I never know what happened to the one that was left.
I never saw any fledglings on the ground being taught to fly. But I always worry about the predators that seem to be around everywhere.
This was a very interesting article and I’m glad it found it. I too was looking for some ideas how to protect robins and their nests. Seems like it’s very difficult to do so.

One of our readers said ... about 7:00 am I was just laying around playing on my iPad and then I heard several crow sounds and robin sounds. I saw a gigantic crow near the birds nest, I simply ignored it but soon got worried and searched up "Do crows eat robins eggs?" And they do. I asked my mom to check the nest and she said it was empty. I saw eggshells of where the crow pecked, and immediately knew the crow ate the egg. I even saw crows around my trampoline like they were guarding it a few days ago. I didn’t research crows and now there’s an abandoned nest in my backyard. The robin is still there, but there were only a few robins that are tiny that survived. I wish I could’ve scared the crow away, after what happened I was heartbroken like all the other comments were. I heard the robin screeching and I didn’t do anything. I must’ve saw the crow eat the egg, I wish I could’ve stopped it. We’re going to remove the nest after 2-4 days after. I can still see the robins flying around, but not near the nest anymore. I recently saw the mother near the nest, looking at the eggshells. But flew off to another backyard.

Another reader said ... I lost my 3-4 day old baby robins. Bird mom and dad built their nest above my door, a precarious place. I tried not to use the entrance door, instead I used the garage door. Few weeks ago they just did not come back after a while. I checked the nest, there was only one egg in it ... next day, none. I left the nest there. They returned. This time the babies were born, I was so happy. The parents were great, very protective and busy. When I woke up this morning, first thing was checking on them. I froze when I looked up and I did not see the nest. Opened the door, nest was on the ground, but no babies! One broken egg. Cried the morning away... There was a storm at night but they were quite well protected. I suspect snake or squirrel. Totally heartbroken. Mom and dad came back one last time, with worm in the beak, and mom sit for few minutes on the nest, which I put back above the door. Since then, I just hear them chirping. I'm devastated.

One of our readers wrote to say ... my yard has a great plethora of trees, which is why it has been a favorite for American Robins every season. Usually I end up finding about 4-5 nests in a season, but this year there was only one nest, and it was in quite an unlikely place. I have a lot of dense bushes and evergreen trees that have been home to many families of Robins over the years, but this year, a pair of Robins chose to nest in one of my new trees in my front yard. I hadn’t even noticed the nest until all the eggs were laid. I was gardening and the female flew out of the tree, so I looked up and saw the nest (which was actually very well hidden and constructed). I kept an eye on the nest for a while, until one day the eggs hatched. The next day, the babies were gone. I’ve had the same issue for years now, and I suspect the Grackles have something to do with it. Last year I had 3 nests which were all extremely well hidden. Like seriously, I had a lot of trouble finding them. But right when the eggs hatched in all three nests, they disappeared prematurely. It’s actually a really sad occurrence. Unfortunately, I think out of the last 6 nests in my yard, only 1 nest has survived. The thing is, I can’t protect these nests, so I just have to hope and pray. Luckily the House Finches are thriving, though. I’ve had 5 nests this year, and a total of 26 babies have successfully fledged.

I am so sad to hear the stories of your lost Robin chicks, I hear your pain. The only thing you can do is try to provide a safe environment for the parents, but ultimately, there is very little you can do to make sure they survive.

I will also post this on our facebook page.

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