Abandoned Nest?

Asked May 15, 2018, 3:56 PM EDT

We have this Robin who has tried many times to next in our garage door opener (with the chain in it, etc) and we kept removing it. This year after two attempts - she built her next in the garage on the shelf by the garage door. I've allowed it and she has laid 4 eggs. At night I shut the door (and in the morning she flies out) but last night left the side door wide open so she would have time to acclimate but I found her beating against the window this morning instead. Since she has laid her eggs - I have kept our garage door open these past few days but today no one was going to be home so I shut the big door - opened the window and left the side door to our yard open in hopes she would figure it out. Unfortunately, I was absent for 5 hours and upon my return and dismay - I believe she failed to figure out another way in and I haven't seen her since then.

Having said that - I'm heartbroken to think I possibly murdered these potential babies and I'm wondering if I continue to leave the door open if she will come back? Also - if the eggs haven't been sat upon -how long does it take for them to die if she isn't on them? Is there still a chance they can survive? It's been warm today about 74-74 degrees F and its on a high shelf in my garage. I'm super bummed about this - please let me know if there's a chance of survival or that she will come back? Thank you, Debi

Kent County Michigan

2 Responses

Hi Debi!
I feel for you and your situation! There really is no hard and fast answer to this question. Research shows that the attachment/protectiveness of a robin to the nest depends on the amount of work/resources/energy the bird has put into it. With eggs having been laid, she may return, and if i were you, I would at least give her a chance to do so (sounds like you are). If 1-2 nights pass and she doesn't return, then the eggs are likely abandoned and no longer viable. It's hard to wait, but that is the best thing to do at this point.
If you think of it, please respond to this thread in a day or so and let me know if she has returned.
Fingers crossed!

Thank you Julie! Crossing my fingers that there's still hope! My garage is wide open and if she comes back I will leave the door open about 10" so she can get in and out. I'm so sad but hope she'll come back to save her babies !!