can a mother bird find a moved nest

You may see birds very frequently as they build their nests—they are constantly flying back and forth as they add more and more materials to their nest. However, once the nest is built, the adults often seem to disappear. This is because the female is now visiting the nest only once each day to lay an egg, and often in the early morning. Once the entire clutch is laid, one or both parents will begin incubating and will minimize activity around the nest to avoid detection by predators. Soon the eggs will hatch, and you’ll start seeing the adults moving around again; they’ll be flying back and forth constantly, only this time with food in their beaks.

For a nest containing eggs, it’s best to allow four weeks to account for a possible delay in incubation as well as the typical incubation time (this may need to be extended by a week or two for species with longer incubation times, such as ducks). If you do not see any adults near the nest and there is no progress (no hatched eggs, etc.) after four (or more) weeks, the nest may have been abandoned.

For a nest containing young, often nestlings may appear to be abandoned when they are actually not. When young are old enough, they don’t have to rely on their parents for warmth and the adults also don’t need to visit as often, and may only be stopping by very quickly to deliver food. The less activity there is at the nest (i.e. the parent visiting it and moving around nearby) the less likely it is to attract predators. We have several reports from participants who believe a nest is abandoned, only to find that the eggs hatch or young fledge in the normal span of time, which indicates that the parent(s) were tending the nest all the while.

Typically, birds may abandon nests for a variety of reasons: they may have been disturbed too often, often by predators or human activity; something may have caused the eggs to be nonviable (infertility, environmental conditions, or a cracked eggshell); or the parents themselves could have run into trouble. Sometimes, if one parent dies, the other may abandon the nest, especially in species where they rely on each other to successfully feed and raise the chicks. Nests with young are rarely abandoned, and therefore, you should not intervene unless you are certain that both parents have been killed (or the main caregiver, for species in which only one parent cares for the young). Do not try to care for the egg/young yourself. In this case, the next step is to call a federally certified Wildlife Rehabilitator. If you believe your nest is abandoned, wait about four weeks from the last time you saw an adult at the nest. This accounts for the typical incubation period for songbirds (two weeks) and an additional two weeks to account for a possible delay in incubation. If the nest is unchanged after this period, then it was likely abandoned.

Sometimes, you’ll find birds building their nests in unexpected places. In cases where baby birds are involved, you may also be unsure of how to proceed. No, moving a bird’s nest that has young birds inside of it is not a smart idea.

When a mother bird builds a nest, the bird becomes accustomed to both the nest and its surroundings. The bird may not be able to locate the nest if you move it because of the altered surroundings.

Wait until the young birds have left the area before engaging in any activity near the nest. The nesting area will be safer for the young birds if there is less activity there. The nest may be moved after it has been vacated.

Try to stay away from the area until the birds have left a nest if you find one in your yard in an awkward spot. Usually, young birds leave their nests after a short while. The baby birds need about a month to mature before they are ready to leave it. You will soon be able to utilize that portion of your yard once more.

You may occasionally question whether moving the nest to a more convenient or safe location would be wise. Since there’s a chance the mother will leave the nest, this idea is really not advised.

Nestlings in a nest full of young frequently give the impression of being abandoned when they are not When children are old enough, they can live independently of their parents and don’t require adult visits as frequently; in fact, adult visits may only occur to drop off food. The less activity there is at the nest (i. e. the parent coming to visit it and moving about in the vicinity), the less probable it is to draw predators. Numerous participants have reported that they thought a nest had been abandoned, but upon discovering that the eggs hatch or the young fledge within the expected timeframe, they realize that the parent(s) had been monitoring the nest the entire time.

Birds typically leave their nests for a number of reasons: they might have been disturbed too frequently, frequently by humans or predators; the eggs might not have been viable due to infertility, bad environmental conditions, or cracked eggshells; or the parents might have encountered difficulties. In certain cases, particularly in species where they depend on one another to successfully feed and raise the chicks, a parent’s death may cause the other to leave the nest. Since abandoned nests rarely contain young, you shouldn’t interfere until you are positive that both parents—or, in the case of species where only one parent raises the young—have perished. Do not try to care for the egg/young yourself. The next action in this situation is to contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator with federal certification. Wait around four weeks after the last time you saw an adult at the nest if you think your nest has been abandoned. This takes into consideration the two weeks that songbirds typically require for incubation as well as an extra two weeks to account for any delays. After this time, if the nest is still there, it was probably abandoned.

It’s best to give a nest containing eggs four weeks to allow for both the usual incubation period and any potential delays in incubation (this may need to be extended by a week or two for species with longer incubation times, such as ducks). If there are no adults in the area of the nest and no development (no eggs hatching, etc.), ) following four weeks or longer, the nest might have been abandoned.

When they construct their nests, birds are frequently spotted flying back and forth as they add more and more materials to their nests. But after the nest is constructed, the adults frequently appear to vanish. The reason for this is that the female is now only coming to the nest once a day to lay an egg, and she does so frequently in the early morning. After the whole clutch is laid, one or both parents will start the incubation process and reduce activity near the nest to keep predators away. The adults will soon begin to move around once more after the eggs hatch; they will be flying back and forth all the time, but this time they will be carrying food in their beaks.


Can birds find a relocated nest?

We don’t recommend that you move the nest; Birds will often abandon their nest if it is moved. Only in extreme circumstances should you consider relocating a nest, and if you do, it must be replaced very close, within a few feet of the original location. Once relocated, watch and make sure the parents are returning.

Will a mother bird find her babies if the nest is moved?

Mother birds have been known to abandon their nests if they have been disturbed or moved. It’s best to avoid moving a nest if possible, as this can disrupt the mother bird’s care for her eggs or chicks.

Will a bird return to a disturbed nest?

Birds may leave their nest if they are scared off or if they need to feed. After they’ve been scared off, birds almost always return to their nest and resume incubating after the threat has passed.

Will birds abandon a moved nest?

Courtesy Ashley Schindeldecker If you move an active nest, it’s unlikely the parent birds will continue to use it—they’ll abandon the eggs and try to build another nest.