VIDEO: Keeping Tabs on Robin Hatchlings

A mother robin decided to build a nest on our home's deck in East Hampton and she's hatched four babies. But I'm worried about their chances of surviving.


About a month ago my husband and I began rebuilding a portion of our deck on our home here on in . It required a bit of demolition, noisy demolition that included a chainsaw and a lot of hammering.

Shortly after starting we realized a robin had made a nest on a portion of the deck railing that was sandwiched between a thickly leafed tree limb and a portion of latticed screening. In it, she had laid one perfect little blue egg. The nest was smack-dab in the middle of our reconstruction project and there was no way, we figured, that egg would ever hatch, given that my husband was spending hours out there every day, sawing and hammering. All the noise had the mother robin away from her nest for long periods.

We were right. About a week into the project we realized the egg was gone, snatched by something, we figured, that stole into the nest while the mother was away.

We also figured that we’d seen the last of the mother bird. But about a week later my husband found four new eggs in the nest. By this point we were done with all the heavy construction and weren’t spending quite as much time on that portion of the deck. We hoped the eggs would survive, but given how close the nest is to the ground (about four feet) and how accessible it is for neighborhood cats, I gave them little chance of hatching.

But they did, about two days ago. Here’s a bit of video of the eggs, the mother and the four new hatchlings.

I’m still doubtful of their chances of survival. Once they’re old enough to start loudly cheeping for food and for their mother, cats or other carnivorous critters are going to hear them. It’s a very easy leap up to the nest from the deck or even the ground, and I’m sort of wondering why the mother even chose that spot.

My husband and I tried to figure out a way to protect them, but I really don’t see how we can. Moving the nest, we reasoned, would be a disaster and would likely scare away the mother, bringing a slow death to her babies.

If you know of any way we can help them, let us know. We’re stumped.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep monitoring their progress and give updates on them, with new photos or videos. For better, or worse, I’ll let you know how our robin family is faring!


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