Remarkable Robins

by Calah Beckwith
Lead Wildlife Keeper

The nest….in good condition for
for such a long journey.

What are the chances? I find myself saying this many times each week, and I’m constantly amazed at the strength and will to survive that our wild patients exhibit. Of all the birds who find themselves in harms way, it’s likely that a very small percentage will be lucky enough to be found by someone who will help. Many of the birds that find their way to the VINS Wild Bird Hospitaldo so under extraordinary circumstances.

Four nestling American robins –
weary from their travels

A few weeks ago, we received a call from a very concerned woman who found a nest filled with baby American robins in her barn. The problem was that the barn had been transported just that day from New York through Massachusettsto its final resting place in New Hampshire – an eight-hour trip! These little robins had survived a tri-state journey with no food or warmth.

The robins during their days as fledglings.

When they arrived at VINS, we were shocked at the amazing condition of the robins. They were a bit stinky, dehydrated, and thin, but they were alert and begging for food. It was fortunate that the babies had just enough feathers to keep warm, were big enough to survive an eight-hour fast, and were able to remain securely in their nest. If they had been any smaller with fewer feathers, they wouldn’t have been able to stay warm nor could they have tolerated an entire day without food. Had they been any older, the movement of the barn may have caused them to leave the nest or “fledge” too early, and they wouldn’t have survived. These robin nestlings were at just the right age – what are the chances?!

Today, the robins are (mostly) grown up. They’re testing out their wings in our outdoor aviary and learning to eat on their own. It’s so much fun to watch them forage for insects and explore the outdoors. What amazing little birds! 

Juvenile robins spend time outdoors.


  1. Trees Planet on October 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    You are really a very good person. Because I've seen you all time love the birds. This great thinking about our environment.

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