Home on the wreath: Robins nest in same spot on Calgary home, four years running

Maybe the wreath is just really good real estate, biologist says

Robins have been nesting on Janet Lore's wreath for the past three summers. PHOTO / JANET LORE

Home tweet home?

For the fourth year in a row, a family of robins has moved into a Christmas wreath that Calgarian Janet Lore’s keeps on her northwest Calgary home.

Lore first noticed that the robins had moved in three summers ago. As often happens, holiday decor sticks around for longer than you want – and eventually, spring rolls around.

She’d noticed the birds had originally built their nest on an old wreath she’d planned on throwing away after the Christmas season. That didn’t happen and before long, the nest appeared and a family of robins moved in.

The nest has since become something of a tradition for Lore.

She said that each spring, everyone in her neighbourhood of Macewan follows the story of the robin family. 

Repeat robins

Dr. Scott Lovell, a biology professor at St. Mary’s University, has a specialization in ornithology and avian behaviour. 

He said that without distinct markings on the birds, there’s no sure way to know if it’s the same bird.

“It is hard to say if it is the same pair or if it’s just that the wreath is really good real estate,” Lovell said.

“American Robins may reuse old nests with or without a new lining, or build a new nest on top of an older one on a structure like a wreath.”

The wreath has since become a permanent fixture to Lore’s home. She said she’ll never take it down. However each year she does tidy up the nesting space.

“We remove the nest every fall, and a new one is built every spring,” said Lore.

According to Lore, the nesting site has become home to around 18 robins since the first brood. She thinks birds who hatched on the wreath are the ones returning each year to raise their own young.

“They know it’s safe. No one will bother them,” said Lore.

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