Robin fledgling left on his own in the dark!

We had a robin nest in our robin nestbox, and all 3 babies fledged this evening, just before it started getting dark, which I thought was unusual as I thought most baby birds fledged in the morning. The last I saw of the parents were them both calling from the fence. Two of the babies joined them and they flew away (the fledglings more fluttering than flying ) But then I realised one of the babies had been left behind. None of the parents or siblings returned and now it’s got completely dark, so I’m worried for the fledging that’s been left behind. He’s sat in a bush at the moment, wide awake and he looks cold. I know fledglings do not need to be interfered with, but I’m not sure whether I should just try and put him back in the nest just for tonight or leave him there and hope that his family come back tomorrow morning.. Any advice for the poor little fella?

  • I’m also frightened that our neighbours cat will find him, even though he’s well camouflaged and hidden, apart from a tiny rustle in the leaves every now and then.
  • Hi Elena, sorry I can't advise you what's best to do but have messaged our resident Robin expert although it's quite late & not sure if in bed !

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Nature needs to be allowed to take its course here. Picking up the fledgling would not be a good idea. If it were injured I'd say yes, but as it is healthy, you should leave it be. It is likely that the other two are now alone in a different location. Fledged Robins disperse and that's how they survive. They might well all be alone tomorrow and you would be none the wiser. As for being cold, that's not an issue. Birds do not feel the cold in the way that humans do. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he makes it through the night unscathed. The adults will hopefully return and find it in the morning. It's instinctive. Hope that answers your questions.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • Thanks MC, knew you would be able to dispense best advice ... It helps us all!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Well, the parents actually stay with them for at least a few days to feed them before they learn to fly properly and feed themselves. You can’t expect a baby bird to learn how to take care of itself within an hour of fledging...as for “dispersing”, we have a robin nest pretty much every year, and the fledglings certainly don’t disperse, not until about 3 days of fledging, from what I’ve seen in our garden. Them and the parents have very often stayed together in our garden for several days at least.
  • Oh well, it’s still there and still asleep. Fingers crossed that parents come back tomorrow. I was thinking of putting it back in the nest though because of the neighbours cat, which I thoroughly dislike. The bloody thing sneaks into the garden when our dog is inside, and enjoys killing any birds or frogs it can get its paws on. And the neighbours often leave it outside all night so it also uses the vegetable patch as a litter tray...
  • Morning Elena,
    Did he/she make it?