Wild Animals/Robin's nest


Hi Mr. Wright, I've never done anything like this before, but I have enjoyed the Mama robin SO much that built her nest at the top of my "bakers rack" on my deck, beside my back door.  I've been very quiet and careful when opening the door to let my dog out etc.  Many times, she doesn't even leave the nest when I do so.
I was researching the web to see if the father robin hangs out nearby, because there is always one that flies to the patio the second she leaves her nest.  Now I know that that IS dad.  While learning about the robins, I found that the babies will sort of "hop" out of the nest when they are old enough.  I think the idea is probably to land on a branch or in the grass etc.  My concern now, is that they will all die when they fall over 6' to the hard deck below.  What do I do?  I don't want them all dying!

Thanks for your time

Dear Gayla

Thank you for your question. I'm glad you're enjoying watching the robins. I enjoy seeing the pied wagtails near where I live. There's something about them that makes me feel better. Normally, I only see one or two, but a few years ago, I saw 40 in a field, which was very unusual.

Hopefully, the baby robins will land safely and won't hurt themselves. I have seen a film of ducklings falling a long distance from a hole in a tree and landing on the ground with no injuries. You could add some soft material to the hard deck to soften the blow. You will need to be careful that the material won't get soggy in the rain, but perhaps you could use wood chips or a similar soft material, similar to the surface below trees. It may be worthwhile having a talk with someone at a garden centre, but I think wood chips should be OK, although I've never been asked this sort of question before.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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