Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Guillermina
Do robins use the same nest each season? Nests are nature’s work of art, so what do robins do when it’s time to get rid of them?
Robins usually do not reuse the previous season’s nest. However, it’s possible that they will take some bits and pieces from the old one to bring to their new home.
Did you ever learn about this robin tidbit? We’ll delve into the topic a bit more and give you some more exciting facts about robins and their nesting habits!
What Are Robins?
The American robin is a small songbird that is very common and widespread in North America, even reaching Central Mexico. It is the most abundant bird in the skies of the continent!
While it is a common medium-sized bird, it watches out for many predators in the wild. They watch out for cats and snakes, but they could also fall victim to birds like blue jays, who can steal their eggs, or cowbirds, who lay eggs in their nests without their knowledge. However, robins still manage and come out on top!
They begin their breeding seasons from April to around July. The mating robin is around one year old, and they do not need to stick to one mate throughout their long lifetime – potentially up to 14 years of age!
What Is A Robin’s Nest Like?
The robin’s nest is a sight to behold, especially when it still houses those beautifully bold turquoise robin’s eggs. You may catch a view of these as the spring season goes on.
Building The Nest
When the mated couple is putting together their nest in time for laying eggs, it is the male that scavenges for the material. The female receives this material and puts together a small but sturdy nest. She uses a variety of sticks and twigs to form the body and uses mud as a sturdy foundation and sticky material to help hold it all together.
Engineering The Nest
This nest is an interesting structure that is shaped more like a cup or glass, as opposed to the flatter styles we see more often in media. Their diameter is usually 3 – 8 inches (or 8 -20 centimeters). It’s not a very big nest on the inside, but it is very comfortable!
Locating The Nest
Robins are known to build their nests in a variety of places. Aside from the typical tree branch, they could also choose to put together a home on a house ledge or windowsill. They like to nest in rather low areas – places that they have deemed quiet and safe enough for their children to grow up strong and well.
Using The Nest
The nest is enough for the eggs and for the mother bird to sit on top of them all. She has a brood patch that helps incubate the eggs at the proper temperature. Unlike other birds, the male cannot take over incubation duty, because the males do not have a brood patch. About 90% of each hour, the mother incubates the eggs.
Do Robins Use The Same Nest?
So, do robins reuse their nests for the next season? You may be surprised by the truth.
No, they do not! Every season, the robin can lay up to three different clutches, though how many actually hatch is another matter. Still, that’s a lot of birds for one nest to accommodate. Each clutch could be around two to five baby birds.
The nest is very worn out by this time. Birds don’t really have a way to “clean” their nests. However, they are very neat and most of the time they look very clean. Thankfully, birds like robins have babies that produce fecal sacs, meaning they excrete waste into a diaper-like lining that their parents can pick up and throw away (and, in some cases, eat).
A fresh new nest is always the way to go – and this seems to be the case for a lot of robin parents. Large birds do tend to do this reuse habit, for example, eagles and herons, especially if the nest is still in a good condition.
That’s why a new nest has to be made for the next season. Sure, they would sometimes take some choice twigs from the old nest, but that’s the extent of reuse. They are more likely to make a new one from scratch.
Robin Birdwatching Tips
Would you like to know more about the robin nest that you’ve found around the corner of your house? What an excellent opportunity to do some observation! Here are some helpful tips for your birdwatching habits.
Identify The Male And The Female
Unlike other bird species, both male and female robins have a fabulous palette of colors on their bodies. The only way to really tell is that females are the only ones doing the incubating of eggs, due to the male’s lack of a brood patch. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to the naked eye!
Identify Their Eating Habits
Since the female is busy incubating the eggs, it’s up to the male to keep her fed. Robins have a nice variety in their diet. They like to eat earthworms earlier on in the day. They like to gorge on fruiter as the day goes on.
If you want to fill up your feeder for them, they will be happy with birdseed and mealworms – they are not just for keeping their energy levels up, but provide a good amount of nutrients for their health!
Identify Their Territory
They may not seem like the type, but they can be aggressive and territorial should another small bird encroach on their space. Robins are wary around predators and humans, so just do your best not to startle them, and they won’t go flying off into another direction!
Do robins return to the same nest? These fiery birds lay their beautiful blue eggs every season and then move on to a new nest in the next. Their incredible creations are always an engineering marvel worth appreciating, however!
Have you ever seen a robin nest? What did you think about its interesting design? Let us know about your experience and opinion in the comments below!