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Jude's avatar

Say, a robin's nest got destroyed (cats got to the eggs), what does the Mama and Papa do?

Asked by Jude (31977 points ) June 3rd, 2011

We had a Mama robin sitting on her nest a few days ago. Then, a cat got to it and down went the nest and the eggs. What does the Mama do? :(

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14 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

She gets busy with the Papa and creates anew. Hopefully she’ll have learned a valuable “new” mommy lesson and will choose a more secluded, harder to reach spot to nest in the 2nd time around.

I’m sorry to say @Jude that this is how 1st time mom’s learn in nature. Also, too bad humans haven’t learned that cats belong indoors…they ruin many songbird nests this time of year, and kill fledglings

Jude's avatar

I love that y’all are answering this. I really want to know.

Thanks, @SpatzieLover and @Carly.

Carly's avatar

Just took Ornithology this term!!

So, the scent of the cat might still be on the nest and/or the parents saw/know it happened, so they may have abandoned the nest for safety. American Robins tend to have more than one clutch (laying of eggs), and if they’re able to build another nest soon, they’ll probably do just that. On our Ornithology final one of the questions was: Out of all reproduction failures, which is the most likely? Answer: Predators – at about 70% of all failures.

I wouldn’t worry about it too much though. It seems to be a pretty common thing for birds to not have a completely successful reproduction cycle. Everyone in my class had to watch a pair of birds over the whole season, and when we had our in-class reports, we realized that over 60% of the birds had something wrong, and most of the American Robins didn’t make out so well.

But at least you don’t have a Mourning Dove, those birds are pretty stupid even though they sound and look beautiful.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s early enough in the year they shouldn’t have any problems starting over. Predators get a lot of nests, and it isn’t unusual for another bird to kill the chicks.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, if it is not too late in the season, the parent birds will start over with a new nest and clutch of eggs, hopefully in a safer space.

Some birds will raise several broods of young over the season anyway.

I used to have a problem with roof rats ( black rats ) that would raid nests in my yard for the eggs.

The nests were in an apple tree and the foraging rats would then discover the tasty nest of eggs too.

Jude's avatar

She built a nest that was 6 feet off of the ground., on top of a woven twig wreath that hangs on our garage wall (outside wall). There is a ledge beside it and cats can easily jump up onto the ledge and reach over to the nest.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

They like the wreaths. If she starts another nest in the wreath you may have to move the wreath or take it down until she starts a nest elsewhere.

gailcalled's avatar

Robins habitually lay two or three sets of eggs. There is no worry about robins becoming endangered. Let nature take its course.

Your_Majesty's avatar

They will report this matter to ASPCA or other wildlife departments. Beware! That cat will be sued in no time. Life is too short even for bird kin to grieve for what they’ve lost when they can make a new life. They don’t feel sad, they will just let it go. All animals learn that they live in eat or be eaten world (including human).

mazingerz88's avatar

Mama and Papa would Tweet about it. : )

And then they would build a new nest and make love the first urge they get.

Blueroses's avatar

@Carly In your class, did you find any evidence that birds do have a sense of smell? I’ve wondered that since they seem so audio/visual. I’ve surprised a pheasant by walking right into him and he didn’t seem aware of my scent. He had his back to me but the wind was blowing in the direction of me to him. I had my hands full and wasn’t looking down, so it startled both of us.

Carly's avatar

@Blueroses their sight is better than a human’s, their hearing is a little better if not equal (not including specific birds like owls), but their sense of smell isn’t as good as a humans. My teacher was telling me that scientists weren’t sure if birds could even smell at all, but in the last few years there’s apparently been proof that they can. I don’t think birds can smell a person walking up on them, but they can probably tell the difference when there’s something new in their nest/on their young (that’s why people say not to handle baby birds and then put them back in their nest).

WasCy's avatar

They will seek grief counseling.

Afterward, they’ll start a new nest. It’s probably not their first time losing a clutch, as has been pointed out.

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