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Help Save the Baby Robins
Old 04-24-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
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Help Save the Baby Robins

The picture below shows a lady robin in the nest she's built on one of our downspouts. Last year they also built a nest here, and we found the nest on the ground. We replaced it and the three chicks, and wired everything in place, but a raccoon got up there and knocked the nest down (again--that's probably what happened the first time) and made a meal of the chicks.

So, any ideas on how to stop a recurrence? The raccoons have never climbed up our other downspouts, but the fence was new last year and I think the critter was able to make the short climb from the fencepost to the nest.

Ideas that occur to me:
1) Move the nest to a nearby inaccessible location. I could mount a small nesting shelf on the brick wall a few feet away.
2) An anti-raccoon baffle on the downspout. I see a day of sheet metal fabrication in my future and a mixed chance of success if my experience with squirrel baffles is any guide.
3) Barbed wire. Well, maybe a two-foot length of flexible plastic wrapped around the drainpipe with lots of construction-staples pointed out to discourage climbing.

I know the raccoons have to eat, and I know their consumption of little birds is just part of the circle of life, but NIMBY!

Ideas are solicited . . .
[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-8.png[/IMG]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RobinNest.jpg (4.6 KB, 117 views)
File Type: jpg robin nest_small.jpg (325.7 KB, 11 views)
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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Rac-proofing anything is fiendishly difficult, as you know.
That looks like a particularly tough challenge, so I would vote to move the nest and place something on the downspout to discourage future nest building on that location.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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You could mount a small platform off to the side if you didn't mind drilling a couple of holes in your mortar. Then they could nest there ever year.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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travelover, braumeister,
Thanks for the input. I looked around the web and there was some dispute as to whether a robin would accept the new nest location, as apparently they "imprint" on the environment of the regular nest and allegedly won't accept a new spot.

I went with your suggestion, built a small shelf nearby and moved the nest. (The nest was really something--quite heavy with dried mud, those robins build quite a structure). There was just one egg in the nest, they normally lay 3-5.

Mom robin settled onto the nest after about an hour of hopping around the roof at the old site. She spent the night there last night, so I think things are going to work.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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Nice job. I hope it works out.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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Would greasing the downspout be effective to prevent future climbs?
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