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What Do Birds Do When Their Nest Is Destroyed? (Answered)

Birds build their nests to lay eggs, incubate eggs, raise their chicks, protect their eggs from predators and adverse weather conditions, etc.

The behavioral pattern of every species of bird varies from one another if they face a tragedy like losing their nest. Let us find out the behavioral pattern of some of the species of birds about how they would respond to the situation of a destroyed nest.

What do birds do when their nest is destroyed?

It depends on the species of the bird that what it would do if its nest is destroyed. Mostly, if their nest is completely destroyed, they abandon the old nest and build a new one. Some birds might rebuild the destroyed nest and continue to take care of their eggs and babies if the birds find them.

Nests are a small world for birds where they make their own family. Birds might show different kinds of behavior if their nest is destroyed. Let us know about some of the birds and their techniques of tackling the situation of losing their nest:


Parrots mourn the loss of their eggs and babies along with their destroyed nests. There are nearby 300 species of parrots and only some of them build nests. If the nests of parrots get destroyed, they eventually build a new one.


Parakeets make their nests in the holes of a tree. If their nest gets destroyed, the parakeet abandons the nest and goes in search of another spot suitable for a living. It goes in search of another tree hole, fence post, or logs that are more safe and secure.


Cockatiels build their nest in hollow spaces of trees. They prefer their nest near a source of freshwater, often in eucalyptus trees. If their nest gets destroyed, they create another nest by abandoning the previous one.


The finches make a nest for themselves in trees. The nests are most traditionally basket-shaped. They make their nest rarely in bushes, between rocks. If their nest gets destroyed, they leave it and make a new one.


Some species of lovebirds make their nest in groups. Other species might fly away from the flock and build a new nest in pairs. If their nest gets destroyed, they move to a secure place to build a new one.


Doves make their nests on bushy fields and sometimes in low horizontal tree branches. Just like most other birds, doves abandon their nest if destroyed.


Parrotlets do not make nests for themselves. So, they do not have any fear of their nests being destroyed and they lead their life wherever they feel comfortable. 


Cockatoos build their nests in hollow limbs of eucalyptus trees, which are high up over watercourses. They are also seen to make their nests in cliff holes. They abandon their nest if destroyed and move to other sites in order to make a new one.


Conure makes their nests in palm trees. If destroyed, they build their trees on other palm trees not far from the previous one.

Pionus Parrots:

It is nearly impossible to destroy the nests of Pionus parrots as they live in tropical forests, mostly in oak and pine trees at the altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Even if their nest gets destroyed for some reason, they build a new one for themselves.

African Greys:

African Greys are social birds who usually build their nest in a hollow or cavity in a tree. If their nest gets destroyed, they abandon it and make a new one.


Generally, robins do not reuse their nests. But some of the species of robin reuse their nests. If robins find that their nest has been destroyed, they’ll abandon it and will build a new nest in other sites.


There is no need for the usurper to destroy the nest of owls because the young babies pretty much destroy it themselves. If any owl nest gets destroyed for any other reason, it is normally abandoned.


Traditionally, vultures do not build any nests. They choose a shady agricultural field to lay their eggs and cover it. If for some reason the field gets diminished, they don’t bother much as there is nothing to rebuild. 

They just look for another secure site for laying eggs next time.


Eagles have the habit to reuse their nests year after year. Before they start laying eggs and raising their babies, they repair their old nests. Even if their nests get destroyed, they’ll build a new one as they have the habit to reuse their nests.

They habitually build the new nest close to the old one.


The nests of woodpeckers can be destroyed if the wooden tree is cut down or it fills up with snow due to heavy snowfall.

Even though it is difficult for them to build a new house, they would simply abandon the old nest if they find it uncomfortable for themselves and their babies.


If a mother hummingbird who hasn’t laid eggs yet, sees that her nest is destroyed, she will simply rebuild it, or build a new one.

A migrating hummingbird would start its journey back home if it cannot find its eggs and chicks after its nest is destroyed. Non-migrating birds often rebuild their nests if it gets destroyed.

Will a bird return to a disturbed nest?

Birds don’t return to a disturbed nest. Adult birds have got a few sets of techniques using which they can distract unwanted visitors.

Moreover, if birds are disturbed or harassed, they immediately abandon their nest. Sometimes, they even doom their eggs and hatchlings before abandoning their nest.

During the summer season, they sit on their eggs for breeding or already have young ones to feed on. That’s why the birds are most vulnerable and defensive in the summer.

Do birds mourn the loss of their nest?

Yes, birds do mourn the loss of their nest. But sometimes, it varies from species to species that they would actually mourn the losses of their nest or not.

Birds have certain brain areas with hormones that work as neurotransmitters just like us. That’s why they have the capability to mourn about some precise events in life. Therefore, birds do mourn the loss of their nest.

What do mom birds do when their nest is destroyed?

Every mom bird reacts differently if their nest gets destroyed. Upon their nest being destroyed, some mom birds will rebuild it while some will choose to abandon it, along with the eggs or chicks inside.

Even though some birds solely mourn the loss of a nest, some mom birds do mourn the loss of their babies and eggs. Many mom birds also mourn the life loss of their partners.

How do I make a substitute bird nest?

If you find any young bird who accidentally fell from its nest or was abandoned by its mother, you can easily make a substitute nest for them by yourself. All you need to do is, follow these easy steps:

Gathering, long and flexible plant stems:

The first thing you will be needing to make a substitute bird nest is long and thin stems. Make sure that the stems are flexible enough so that you can bend them easily.

If you can’t find such material beside your house, get some raffia, seagrass, willow fronds, bendy reeds, straw, long grass, vines from the garden supply store.

Make a loop with the stems:

Bend the stems shaping them into a loop-like structure to make the base of the nest. Make a U shape and use more stems to make it a complete circle. If the freshly cut stems are too hard to bend, keep them hanging outside to make them dry for easy bending.

Decorate the nest with different materials:

Tie the stems tightly after bending them so that the loop remains strong. Collect some colorful moss, twigs, bark, and leaves for decorating the nest. You can also put pieces of eggshells and feathers into the nest. 

Lastly, add a fake egg to give a little touch of authenticity to the nest.

What to do with an empty bird nest?

If you see a bird nest is empty you can simply remove the nest. Just make sure that the nest is truly abandoned and the birds have moved on.

The best way to ensure this is to watch the nest over a week or so to see if any birds return. If no bird returns, you can remove the nest.

Final Thoughts

If the nest of birds gets destroyed, this would obviously dishearten them to quite an extent. If their previous nest gets destroyed, some birds rebuild the old one and some birds might abandon the old one in order to build a new nest. It generally varies from species to species.