You are here:

Wild Animals/robin abandonment of hatched eggs


I have watch from my kitchen window a robin sit a nest and the eggs have hatched. I watched her and her mate come and feed the babies for a couple days, and now there is no sign of her. I keep checking different times and day and even as night sets and there is no sign of her. Has she abandoned these hatched eggs and is this normal? I feel so bad for those little babies. I have no intention to intervene, just wondering if this is normal.

Thank you in advance for your reply,
Alice Stanley

Dear Alice

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

I suspect that the most likely causes are that one or both parents have died or the eggs are infertile, but other suggestions are given below. says that the more time and energy robins invest in their the nest, the less likely they are to abandon it when disturbed. Robins may  abandon a nest that seems to have been discovered by a predator or has been moved to a different location.
Robins may also abandon a nest if another bird has laid eggs there or if something happens that tells the robins they will have a poor chance of success.

Contributors at suggest that the eggs may be infertile or are otherwise unable to hatch. Contributors at give various suggestions that may help.

I hope this helps.

All the best


Wild Animals

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2016 All rights reserved.