lfd33's picture

Robins nesting

A month or so ago there were a pair of robins nesting in a conifer outside our kitchen window but they abandoned the nest once the chicks had hatched as the noise alerted the local cat. The nest was left empty so the cat may have been successful. Now we see a robin bringing insects to the small conifer next to it ie only a few feet off the ground. I assume that the mother robin is sitting on the nest and is being fed by the male. Are these likely to be the same pair as before and why are they nesting so close to the ground when there are predators about?
We wondered whether in such circumstances it is kinder to scare the birds away at the nest-building stage before the eggs are laid so that they might go away and find a more secure place or is this interfering with "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest?



Kluut's picture


Robins are EXTREMELY territorial, so the pair will be the same, assuming the first ones have not been predated, leaving an empty territory.
If the first nest was empty, it was probably predated and it was that that led to desertion, rather than the other way around.
The hen is normally fed by the male when she goes for a break during the day, not on the nest - the pair that nested near our front door this year were like clock-work, so predictable were her breaks. There are plenty of cats round here and they nested 12-15 inches from the ground in a clematis.
If food is being carried to the nest, there are near certainly chicks in the nest.
Birds nest where they feel secure - even if sometimes it seems daft to us. You should also remember that for every egg that hatches, of any bird, one bird must die each year - otherwise bird populations would be permanently rising - in the case of titmice which may have 2 or even 3 nests each year, with as many as double figure young in each, we would be knee-deep in blue tits, or whatever in a few years if the attrition rate wasn't so horrendous.

sa6688's picture

robins nesting

This was not actually robins, but a chaffinch family. The nest was in a conifer, but not very deeply into it, so was easily seen. A lovely, neat nest, with 6 eggs, which hatched, then a magpie threw 3 of the chicks out onto the lawn, and carried them off later. 2 days after that, the nest was empty and abandoned, so I guess it had had the lot. Very sad, but it happens all the time. At least it was about 3 weeks ago, so maybe they have started again some where else