Do Robins Reuse Their Nests? 5 Nesting Habits of Robins

do robins reuse their nests

American robins are the most adorable birds ever. Every bird has their habits to survive in life. The birds that can build their nest have their nesting habits. Robins have the expertise to make their home with extraordinary methods. 

These birds are considered the official birds in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Connecticut. Notably, robins mostly migrate during the winter season. So, usually, they change their residence in that season. Now, the query is, do robins reuse their nests?

It is natural to find very old robin nests just in the backyards of your house or under the eaves of your building. But is it reusable for other robins? Or could you move it from its place? This article will clear all the queries. 

Do Robins Reuse Their Nests?

Robins do not reuse their nests. But they often restructure the old nests and make them their new residence. If robins find any old nest, they first analyze the area’s safety and suitability. If the nest location is suitable and fulfills their need, they start reconstructing it to get a strong and sturdy home. 

5 Nesting Habits of Robins

Robins build their homes in a particular period, choosing their preferred location and materials. Female robins mainly make the nest, and male robins help to collect the materials. Here is the whole year’s process of making a robin’s nest. 

The Courtship at the End of Winter 

Before building a nest or laying eggs, robins find their partner to meet. They usually meet from January to February, when the winter ends and the temperature starts warmer. And this is the most suitable time to begin the process of nesting. 

Robins Find a Suitable Location in March Starting 

After finding their partner, robins start to find their safe location to make their nest. They consider the location by observing the ground’s height, warmth, and safety from the air and predators. 

Notably, they dislike building their nest in a high location. Most birds choose high branches or high areas for nesting. But robins choose areas between 5 to 25 ft for nesting.  

Immediate Completion of Nest 

After getting a suitable place, the pair of birds build their house with various ingredients like twigs, grass, lichen, moss, mud, etc. It takes 2 to 4 days to complete a strong robin nest of robins. The female robin acts as the builder, and the males are helpers. 

Nest Works as Baby Incubator 

When a female robin lays eggs, the pair of birds give all effort to secure their eggs. The beautiful blue eggs are secured in the well-built nest until they hatch. The nest acts like a baby incubator, keeping the eggs safe and providing the necessary warmth and cold. 

The Couple Leaves the Nest at the End of September 

The parents leave the residence when the nestlings can fly smoothly nearly 14 days after birth. Since the temperature starts to fall at the end of September, robins migrate with their babies to southern countries. 

How Robins Build a Nest?

Robins collect different ingredients from nature. Robins build their nests with twigs, grass, and dry grass. Also, they collect lichen moss and sometimes string to get a strong and long-lasting nest. 

Female robins make their nests creatively, and male robin searches for ingredients for their home. They make the nest in a round shape with the wall with twigs. The base is usually covered with mud and mosses. Robins use their beaks to tie the string side by side. 

How Long Does the Breeding Season Last?

As earlier mentioned, robins meet with their partner in January or February. They choose to spring for their breeding season. In March, robins start to breed. Before the breeding season starts, they begin to prepare their home. 

Later, between April to August, the pair of robins stay in the nest with their babies. In the first period of April, every robin meets their first brood. Between April to August, robins get 2 to 4 broods. Robins usually have 3 to 4 broods in every breeding season. 

When the nestlings get their new feathers, they start practicing flying. That training takes place when they stay in their shelter or the nest. After four days of birth, baby robins fledge. When they learn to fly properly, they get prepared to migrate. 

At the end of September, the temperature starts to reduce. But robins always require a warm place to stay. So they don’t stay further in the same nest. That small family migrates to warm southern countries.  

Where Do Robins Set Up Their Nests? 

Robins always like to have their nest in a lower area from the ground and find a safe place between 5 to 25 ft from the ground. They commonly build their nest in bushes, trees, or under the leaves. 

They search for a place where they can get their required elements like air, warmth, and protection from predators. Their nests are stronger and more qualified than the other birds’ nests. Since they use various materials to build the residence, it lasts for a long time. When the family leaves a certain nest, the nest lasts for a month without any damage. 

What is the Size of a Robin Nest?

When they prepare the residence, the female robin always checks the nest area through her body. Spreading her feather and using her claws, she measures the suitable size of the nest. 

Usually, robins’ rests are 6 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches high. A nest gives 3.5 to 4-inch areas in diameter and can easily hold four nestlings. The shape of the nest is round, which can hold a baseball comfortably. 

How Do Robins Protect Their Nests?

Like humans, animals are also conscious about family and safety. Female and male robins give too much effort to protect their homes from predators. 

Male Robins Do Dive-Bombing

They start protecting their homes and family through different activities whenever they get signals from predators. If male robin finds any predator 10 ft from their nest, they come down flying and use dive-bombing. It means they come close to the predator’s head and squawk continuously to distract them from the nest. They sometimes attack suddenly, protecting the home. 

Female Robin Acts as an Alarm 

Female robins manage the internal territory. When they know about the predator, the female robin repeatedly squawks to give an alarm call to their babies. After hearing about the mummy, the newborns hide their heads in the nest. 


Robins is one of the well-known birds for building their nests with various ingredients. Though, they do not use that well-built nest twice. Do robins reuse their nest? No, but they usually make creative changes to that old nest and make them new. 

So, if you find any old robin nest, you should avoid destroying it. The newcomers can use the nest as their new home’s base, and you should help them to stay happy with their cute family! After all, a nest in your tree or under the eaves never harms your lifestyle; instead, it has a nature’s touch.


How long do baby robins stay in the nest?

They usually start trying to fly after 13 to 14 days of their birth.

Can you touch a robin’s nest?

You should keep away from touching a robin’s nest.

Should you move a robin’s nest?

No, you should not, as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act states not to interfere in any bird’s wealth. Instead, you can contact the local State Fish and Wildlife Department.

Do other birds use a robin’s nest?

Some birds reuse the robin’s nest if they are in good condition.

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