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Birds--General/Robin's Nests

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Question
I'm not sure if it is one Robin or two, but they are building about five nests under our covered patio roof -- about 10 feet from the house.  I removed the debris from three of them as they were just a mess, then I cleaned up all the debris that they had brought to make the nests that was on the concrete slab.  My question is can I remove the two bigger nests, which by the way are still in construction mode with no eggs in them?  Will they still have time to make more nests if I remove them completely?  Also, are Robin's aggressive towards other smaller birds?  I think they made another bird leave its nest with eggs already in it.  That's on the other side of the patio roof.

Answer
It is unusual for robins to build more than one nest at a time. Perhaps your removing the material disturbed them enough to start another nest. I can't give you permission to remove the bigger nests as it is against federal law to do so. I suggest contacting your local wildlife official for a permit.
And, if you keep disturbing them they may just give up on nesting totally. You see, courtship, mating, building a nest, and laying eggs are part of a pattern partially controlled by hormones. Disturbing the birds disrupts the pattern and the hormonal flow and often stops the entire breeding cycle.
They are not any more aggressive than any other bird defending its nest.

Birds--General

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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