Birding/robin egg


I am 11, and I found a robin egg on the ground by the tree after a storm.  There is no nest that we can see. The egg is heavy and "sloshes" inside if you carefully jiggle it. We live in northern west Virginia, and the weather has been 80's since the storm, low of 65 at night.  What are the chances we can "incubate" the egg and hatch it? Will a desk lamp work? Or is this baby bird a hopeless case?

Well, Katie, if the egg was being incubated by the parents and development started, the egg is no good. The fact that it was found on the ground means it fell a long way, so I suspect it was injured. You can try hatching it by keeping it at about 100 degrees for two weeks in high humidity but I think the chances are not very good that it will hatch. If it does, it is VERY difficult to raise a young baby bird. If you want to try, I suggest you contact your nearest wildlife rehab center for advice. And thanks for your concern.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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