You’re strolling through the woods on a gorgeous spring or early summer day when to your horror you spot a young robin flopping about on the ground.
What is a person to think?
The poor bird has tumbled from its nest and needs to be rescued.
Not so fast my kind hearted friend!
Booting young birds from the nest is how robins rule their roost.
When the mother robin decides her babies are big enough to forage on their own, out they go. No graduation ceremony, no gifts of luggage, no tearful partings at college dorms. A mother robin is not overly sensitive when it comes to emptying her nest.
Sure it looks cruel from a human perspective, but this is simply how it is done. The young birds flounder about for awhile as they adjust to their new life, but adjust they will (kind hearted interventions from humans notwithstanding). Soon the young robins are learning how to find worms, seeds and other snacks and are getting along just fine.
So if you happen upon a young robin who appears a tad distressed, don’t assume the worst. You are simply witnessing the launch of a robin into adulthood. Keep your pets on a firm leash, give the bird a wide berth so as not to stress it any further, and continue on your way. In a few days that same bird will be trilling you a song from the treetops, revelling in its newfound independence.