Question For the past two weeks we have had a robin's nest outside our living room window, nestled in a safe location, protected by the corners of our fence posts. We do not disturb the mom when she is in the nest and always check to see if she is in the nest before we take a peek at the three eggs she has lain. We haven't seen her for two days and when I peeked this morning, one of her eggs has been broken. Has she left because one of the eggs was broken? Or is it more likely that she left and some other animal broke the egg? Is it best to just leave the nest alone or try to remove the broken egg in the hopes that Mom will return to care for the other two eggs?
Answer She would not have left because an egg was broken. It may be that she died or was killed and some predator got to the eggs. If she truly has been gone for 2 days, it is unlikely she will return but leave the nest up. It is possible she or the male will return and nest again.
Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.
Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website www.ornithology.com, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.
Organizations A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.
Publications Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.
Education/Credentials PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.
Awards and Honors Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.