When birds lay eggs, sometimes they will leave the nest and fly away from it. This is called abandoning a clutch of eggs. Some birds show this behaviour but not all birds. But why birds do like this behaviour? This question may arise in your mind. If you want to find out the reason, you need to read this article thoroughly. In this article, we will discuss why do birds abandon their nest with eggs.
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Why do birds abandon their nests with eggs?
There are many reasons to do birds abandon their nest with eggs. Some most common reasons are given below
1. They have gone in search of food and will return
This is the most common reason to birds abandon their nest with eggs. When parent’s birds incubate their egg periodically, they go for searching food. It could be up to 30 minutes or even more than an hour. During that time, if there is no food available, then they will come back home. If you see them flying around the area, then it means that they have found some food. So when they return, they will bring the food with them. And they will feed it by dropping the food on the ground.
Some birds do not incubate their egg until the last egg has been laid. These birds will start incubating after laying all the eggs. After incubation starts, these birds will only come back home once every two hours.
2. The weather conditions are bad
If the weather condition is bad and the storm starts raining heavily, then the parent bird will abandon its nest with eggs. At this time the parent’s bird covers their eggs with straw or something so that the rainwater can not harm the eggs. But as soon as the rain stops, they will come back home and resume feeding.
Also if the temperature is hot or cold, then they will also abandon their nest with eggs for some time and come back home and give incubation to the egg.
3. The nest is too small
Sometimes the size of the nest is very small. Sometimes the nest is made of sticks and leaves. These nests are not strong enough to withstand heavy rains. Also, the nest is too small to hold all the eggs. So at this time the parent’s bird will abandon their nest with eggs and look for another place where they can build a new nest.
4. There is danger near the nest
Predators like snakes, foxes, owls etc. like to eat bird eggs. They attack the bird’s nest absence of the parent’s bird and take away the eggs. So in such situations, the parent’s bird will abandon the nest with eggs and move somewhere else.
Sometimes when predators attack the bird’s nest the parent’s bird directly fights with predators to save eggs and is killed by the predator. So the eggs become abandoned.
Another reason is that the hunting people kill the parent’s bird and the egg becomes abandoned.
5. Insect infection
Insects like ants, termites, beetles, spiders etc. live inside the nest. When insects get infected, they release toxins which cause damage to the eggs. So at that time the parent’s bird will leave the nest with eggs and look elsewhere for building a new nest.
6. The nest is destroyed
The nest may be destroyed due to natural causes like storms, floods, earthquakes etc. Or sometimes the nest is destroyed because of human activities like construction work, road works etc. In this case, the parent’s bird will abandon its nest and find a new one.
What to do if you find an abandoned bird’s nest with an egg?
What you should do
1. Monitor the nest daily
You should monitor the nest daily. You should check whether the nest is safe or not. If the nest is unsafe, then you should remove the nest immediately.
2. Do not disturb the nest
Do not touch the nest or the eggs. If you touch the nest or the egg, then you might break the shell. Then the egg would be exposed to air and it could die.
3. Clean the area around the nest
Clean the area around the nest. Remove any debris from the area. This way your child will not have to step into the mess while playing outside.
4. Report the incident
Report the incident to the local authorities. It is better if you report the incident before the eggs hatch.
5. Keep away pets from the nest
If there is no other option, keep your pet(s) away from the nest. Pets can destroy the nest and make it unsafe.
What you shouldn’t do
1. Don’t remove the nest
Don’t try to remove the abandoned nest yourself. It is dangerous. You might break the eggs and expose them to air.
2. Don’t touch the eggs
Don’t touch the eggs. Eggs need warmth and moisture to develop properly. Touching the eggs can lead to death.
3. Don’t feed the abandoned nest
Feeding the abandoned nest can attract pests and animals. The nest may also collapse.
How long can bird eggs be left unattended?
Most bird eggs will stay good for at least two weeks before they start to hatch. While incubating eggs, birds may leave their nests for long periods of time throughout the day. Parents can still leave their nests after incubation begins, but they must stay out for no longer than 30 minutes at a time.
Why does a parent bird leave its nest with eggs?
When a parent bird leaves its nest with eggs, it wants to ensure that the eggs remain warm and moist until hatching. It doesn’t want to risk having its eggs hatch prematurely.
How do you tell if a nest has been abandoned?
If you see there is no parents bird near the nest, and there is no progress within four weeks you may consider that the nest has been abandoned.
What happens when I find an abandoned nest with eggs?
It depends on what kind of bird species the nest belongs to. Some birds will take care of the eggs and raise the chicks themselves. Other birds will abandon the nest with the eggs. In this case, you should contact the local wildlife rehabilitation or animal control center. They will help you decide how to handle the situation.
Do birds mourn the loss of their nest?
Yes! Birds are very sensitive creatures. They feel pain just as we do. A bird who loses its nest feels sad and depressed. It tries to comfort itself by singing songs. But when it cannot sing, it cries.
Will a bird come back to a disturbed nest with eggs?
No, birds do not come back to a disturbed nest with eggs. Because the mother bird has already left the nest with eggs. They make a new nest in a new place and incubate the egg to hatch chicks.
Due to some reasons, we have discussed above, the parent’s birds abandon their nest with eggs. But don’t worry about it because it is a natural behaviour of birds. If you find an abandoned nest with baby birds or eggs inside, then you should call the local wildlife rehabilitation or animal control officer. They will help to take care of it. We hope, our article helps you to understand why birds abandon their nests with eggs.