do not disturb nesting birds

She sits, still and enigmatic as a full moon glowing in the dark. Patiently, she waits for nature to take its course.

I watch, constantly peeking through the slats in the blinds at the kitchen window I never drew, until she arrived. Impatient for nature to take its course.

Her nest is an architectural marvel. Securely fashioned into the wire rungs of the spring wreath I hung on our front door to welcome guests.

She is the most welcome guest. As are her two blue eggs nestled into the nest she crafted of moss and leaves and twigs and forest debris.

The front door is off limits now. Guests are invited to enter through our garage door, into the laundry room, down the hall to the main room. (I really must get that basket of clean laundry put away!)

I’ve hung a sign on a rope strung from the handle of a large lantern that sits on the far corner of our front doorsteps to the planter that sits at the edge of the walkway beside the stairs leading down to the backyard deck. “Bird in Nest. Do not disturb. Thank you!”

I wonder if she realizes the sacrifices we’ve made to give her peace. I smile at my use of the word ‘sacrifice’. It is anything but. She feels like a gift from Mother Nature. As I said to my beloved last night after my final peek through the blinds to ensure she was settled in for the night, “I’m so glad she thinks our home is safe for her to nest here.”

It is the third year we’ve had a robin use our home as its nesting site. The other two were tucked into the rafters above the bottom deck. They were easy prey for the magpies and crows who frequent the neighbourhood too.

This nest is easy for me to help protect from predators. I watch incessantly for marauding crows or magpies on the hunt. The minute I see one, or hear the squawking of the robin and her mate, I race to the window, adding my voice to the cacophony.

I think the crows and magpies are terrified of this woman on the other side of the glass who flaps her arms and screams loudly, ‘Get Away!’.

There’s lots for them to eat in the band of forest that separates our yard from the river behind our home. They don’t need to poach eggs from our guest.

I do not know if there are more than the two eggs in her nest now. I only risked the one photo as I didn’t want to disturb her nest building. As robins lay one egg a day, it’s possible she laid a couple more eggs before she settled in to incubate her hatch.

I don’t know how much longer she will be resident at our front door. It could be three or four weeks. What I do know is that C.C. and I are agreed. The door is hers until she and her fledglings take flight.

It’s nature’s way of reminding us to slow down. Be still. Be patient. And above all, be caring of all creatures, big and small.

In the meantime, I shall do my best to not keep peeking through the slats of the blinds I’ve drawn to give her privacy and to help her feel safe.

See Mother Nature. I am learning from you how to be present in this moment right now, connected to all of your creation around me.

See Mother Nature. You are teaching me how to be in the present and connected to everything you have created around me.

I wait for her to arrive, constantly peeping through the blinds’ slats at the kitchen window, which I never drew. Impatient for nature to take its course.

In the interim, I’ll try my best to give her privacy and make her feel comfortable by not constantly peering through the slats of the blinds I’ve drawn.

On the far corner of our front doorstep, next to the planter that is at the edge of the walkway beside the stairs that descend to the backyard deck, I have hung a sign from a rope. “Bird in Nest. Do not disturb. Thank you!”.

We’ve had robins using our house as a nesting site for the past three years. The remaining two were nestled into the beams situated above the lower level. The crows and magpies that also frequent the area found them to be easy prey.

It is crucial to refrain from disturbing nests, den sites, or other breeding habitat because all wildlife species depend on successful reproduction and the raising of young in order to survive. This is especially true in the spring, when breeding activity peaks. In fact, taking native bird nests, eggs, or young without a permit is prohibited by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Protect ground nests (e. g. , killdeer nests) to deter intruders using ropes, stakes, or flagging. Make sure to explain to visitors the purpose of the sign at the site and/or in a conspicuous place where everyone will see it.

For instance, the nests of ruby-throated hummingbirds are about the size of a thimble. They “usually place their nest on a branch of a deciduous or coniferous tree; however, these birds are accustomed to human habitation and have been known to nest on loops of chain, wire, and extension cords,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Avoid the risk and do your trimming at a different time of year. How likely is it that you or your staff would notice such a small nest hidden in the shrub next to the entrance door?

Nesting season is in full swing over most of North America. Here are a few gentle reminders about how to keep wildlife safe during this precarious period:

Going beyond nest boxes, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program collects information on all breeding birds from citizen scientists just like you! Their extensive database “is intended to be used to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals.” As an added bonus, working with patrons, staff, and local organizations to collect data is a fun way to bolster your outreach efforts and your results can help you significantly with your own communications.

Seek methods to provide people with more information about species that require protection or sensitive habitats. Successful strategies include blogs, newsletter articles, meetings, bulletin board notices, and seasonal site tours.


Should you disturb a birds nest?

The consequences of getting too close to a nest can be severe. Birds can abandon nests if disturbed or harassed, dooming eggs and hatchlings. Less obvious, repeated human visits close to a nest or nesting area can leave a path or scent trail for predators to follow.

How do you scare away nesting birds?

Hang wind chimes or scare tape. The movement and sound of wind chimes, especially if they’re made from metal or other shiny materials, will act to deter a bird from a potential nesting spot. Holographic scare tape works in the same way.

Will birds come back to nest if disturbed?

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.

Do lights bother nesting birds?

Porch lighting is a major player in birds nesting. This part of your deck provides birds enough heat and a location to nest. It’s, in fact, an ideal place to leave their eggs for hatching since it’s a steady source of heat in the night. However, this does not mean you need to get rid of the light.