Old 05-18-2020, 10:16 AM
TRC4941's Avatar
TRC4941 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Minnesota
Posts: 1,487

Mama Robin

About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a bird's nest had been built on top of a motion light that's on the side of our garage. I stood on my tippy-toes and used my phone to take a picture to see if anything was inside of it. It was empty. I watched off and on for the next week or so and never saw any activity.

Last week, as I was getting into my car, I heard all sorts of commotion coming from the back of the garage. I saw a bird flailing around inside by the window. Birds have gotten trapped occasionally in our garage. We always take the time to help them out. I went to investigate and sure enough, there was a robin between the back wall and a tool chest. As I moved the tool chest, I heard another big bang. There was another robin on the outside of the window. I assumed it was the mate of the one trapped and it was frantically trying to get to it. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to coax the bird out of the garage using a broom. It would fly from rafter to rafter, then go on top of the opened garage door. We have skylights in the roof, so it was also banging against them. Finally, out it went. I made sure the man door was closed and went on my merry way. I told my husband what had happened and that we have to make sure the man door is closed from now on so we don't get any more birds stuck in the garage.

This past Saturday, my husband was in the garage and noticed a nest being built on top of a light bulb fixture. (It's just a bare bulb in a socket.) He got the ladder to see if there was anything in there but it was empty. He cleaned it out and once again we tried to remember to keep the door closed.

This morning I left with the dogs in the car at 5:45 for our walk. When I got home at 7:00am I noticed a bunch of dried long grass and sticks on the floor of the garage by the man door. I looked up and sure enough, there was nest construction going on on top of the light fixture again. This had to have happened in the short time I was gone.

I told my husband and he went out to assess the situation. He called to me and said did you notice the nest on the motion light has disappeared all of a sudden? Sure enough, the outside nest looked as though it had been deconstructed and was being moved to the inside! So I guess when I was trying to get the robin out of the garage, she wouldn't leave not because she couldn't figure out how to get out but it was because she wanted to be there!

I feel bad that we keep taking her nest away. I'd kind of like to let her stay since it's such a nice safe spot. But then I'm guessing we'd be attacked every time we went into the garage. Not to mention all of the bird poop!

Anyone else see robins do this?
Old 05-18-2020, 10:26 AM
Musicat is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 21,945
Yes, a pair of robins have nested on a small shelf on my small (unenclosed) front porch each year. I even put a webcam on them two years ago, as they raised 2 broods that year. Last year, they made another nest, but some predator got the babies and I didn't have any video evidence that time. This year, I have seen a robin on the shelf, but no nest yet.
Old 05-18-2020, 01:44 PM
AllShookDown is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: The Cheese Belt
Posts: 1,459
Also, nests on top of lights can be the source of fires. I've found the best thing for keeping robins from nesting in places I don't want them nesting is to tie a plastic shopping bag on/near the light fixture. In my experience, they hate those things. My sister and her husband allowed some birds to nest on the light fixture, inside the garage, right above the entry door to the house. It was soooooo gross with birdshit.


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