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Thread subject: Robin nests
Name Date Message
Pamela 04/05/11 11:44 am Does an American Robin return to the same nest each year or do they return to the same location and build a new nest?
Melanie 04/05/11 12:29 pm I suspect they have to rebuild every year. We had a robin's nest in a crepe myrtle here at the office but they never returned. They build a pretty tight nest but even over one winter it really disintegrated. However, those Cape Cod robins kept returning to the wreath on my mothers front door for 5 years but the nest always had to be rebuilt every time since Mom removed the nest before she brought the wreath in for the winter.
Pamela 04/05/11 12:55 pm Thanks, Melanie. A robin built a nest the year before last in a holly tree right outside the window . We could watch them come and go and not only that, she wove a dry hydrangea blossom into the side. It was so beautiful I took it in before the tree was pruned. Last year the robin returned and built another nest in the same place. The second nest is still there and I hesitated removing it not knowing if the robin would come back or not.
Tell me, is there a law regarding the removal of "all" nests?
Melanie 04/05/11 02:25 pm I don't think the nests of the "little guys" last sufficiently through winter to be re-used. I say this because I've got oak trees full of the remainders of nests that don't seem to get re-used.
Melanie 04/05/11 03:16 pm I have seen references to a few species like robins and mockingbirds who will build on top of existing old nests, but according to the Birdwatchers General Store blog on orioles "For the most part songbirds do not reuse the same nest. And even if they wanted to reuse the nest, by the time they returned in the spring a rich group of New York City apartment dwellers will probably have had it torn down. " ;-p
Anne-UK1 04/05/11 06:09 pm Maybe you do the Robins a favour by clearing the old nest away? If they like the site but need to rebuild, you may be saving them some time and effort. I hope they come back Pamela :)

Shelley 04/05/11 06:28 pm Laws here in Canada are different from those in the States but a few years ago, I was talking with the now-retired head of one of my favourite conservation centres (Kortright) and I specifically asked him about nests because I like to collect them when I can, to use in my spring units in class. He said that 99% of songbirds do not re-use their nests; they seem hard-wired to build from scratch each spring. Maybe they will take pieces of an old nest but generally once they are gone, the nest is considered abandoned. So basically, I was ok to take a nest if I found one empty, especially if it was well into the season when they would have already been in it.
Melanie 04/05/11 06:41 pm Same laws apply here regarding nests - from the first egg to last fledge and the nest is untouchable. Any other time it's fair game.
Pamela 04/05/11 06:44 pm Thank you all :-)
When it stops raining, I'll pop out to take it out of the holly and watch for the "Robin Return."

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