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Possible abandoned house wren nest?

by Laura S.
(East Aurora, NY)

PLEASE HELP! I am not sure what to do, if anything. I have a small bird house in the lilac tree outside my bedroom window.

I have been enjoying watching the mother bring insects to her fledglings (I can see at least two) and video taping them for the past two days.

She literally feeds her babies from sun up until sundown. However, I have not seen her all morning long today.

I am worried something may have happened to her; or could this be how wrens get their fledglings to leave the nest? The babies have been chirping nonstop all morning.

It's now early afternoon and still no sign of parent birds. Should I be concerned? Is there anything I can/should do?

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May 31, 2013
by: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

It is absolutely a myth that touching eggs will cause abandonment. Songbirds have a very weak sense of smell and will not abandon nest, eggs, or young because they've been touched.

However, the oil on our hands can cause harm to the eggs so touching no more than needed is best.

To learn what's involved with incubating eggs please look at:

Found A Bird Egg.


May 31, 2013
2 house wren eggs
by: MaMaRae

My son moved a bird house with me knowing. He later found it on the ground and told me about it. This was after a big rain. The eggs were on the ground and one was busted. He begged to keep the others.

I have always heard that once a human has touched bird eggs the mother won't take care of them because they'll have a smell she doesn't recognize. This could be a myth, I have no idea. Now we have these 2 eggs under a lamp. I am wondering if we have done the right thing. Can we still put them back? What should we do?

Jun 10, 2012
6baby wrens
by: Anonymous

I had 6 baby wrens in my garage so cute will they come back??

Jun 05, 2012
BABY WRENS 4 days old
by: Joy Walker

We have 5 baby wrens, about 4 days old. They make no noise yet and the mom has been great. I watch them constantly outside my bedroom window.

Since she built the nest inside the cup on my table and laid one egg per day, she has been in that nest EVERY night for the past three weeks.

Since the eggs hatched she has feed them every 20 minutes and never missed a beat. We had a bad storm tonight and the mommy wren hasn't been back in about 6 hours. It is now 9:40pm CST in Louisiana and now mommy wren. I need advice quick. I don't want the babies to die. I need to know what to do.

May 21, 2012
by: Anonymous

I have found a nest with eggs in it three weeks ago
today. The bird has sat on the eggs almost
constantly until yesterday. Shouldn't the eggs
have hatched earlier? Did she know they wouldn't
hatch is why she left? The nest has not been
disturbed at all. She is not there this a.m.
either. Would appreciate a possible answer.

Aug 17, 2011
3 orphaned wrens
by: mary

I, too, have found 3 baby house wrens in our birdhouse with one parent on the ground, dead. I have watched all day for the second parent to return, but it has not, and the babies have been frantically chirpping all day.

A local rehab volunteer said to lift the birds from the nest, lay white paper towel down, and return them to the nest.

Check later; if the birds have pooped, then they are being fed quietly, probably a response to the earlier attack which killed the other bird!

If no bowel movements are found on the paper, soften dog or cat food, break into tiny pieces, tap the side of the baby beak, when mouth opens wide, feed the babies by hand.

Two are eating well and pooping immediately, the third appears weak but it finally started eating some.

She also said to look into the house with a flashlight at night; if there is no adult with the babies, bring them in for protection.

We did this, gave them a night feeding and all three are sleeping soundly now. Tomorrow I will deliver them to the rehab home. Wow....what a day!

Jul 28, 2011
Common Among Songbirds
by: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

Keep in mind that the adult birds will withhold food in order to get the young to leave the nest. This encourages the young to leave the nest to find their parents and food.

Also, some fledglings are too heavy when fledging time comes. They must lose some weight before leaving the nest.

As one other visitor said, it would be very rare that something happened to both adult birds. Which would be about the only way the nest of young would be abandoned.


Jul 28, 2011
by: linda in PA

The parents will incubate the eggs for 10-14 days,then after hatching, take care of the young in the nest for another 10-14 days. Then the young and parents leave the nest, before the young can fly, and the parents feed the young for another two weeks or so.

Jul 28, 2011
baby wrens
by: Anonymous

I have listened to the babies calling out to their parents all day yesterday and again this morning I am VERY worried about what might have happened to the pair of parents. They are in a bird house outside my kitchen window that has been used by these wrens for years!

Jun 19, 2011
Abandoned wrens return
by: Elsa in Ontario

Had a similar issue today. Babies were crying for parents all morning and they were no where to be found. I was sure the babies would be dead by morning.

After looking around, I found the adults building a new nest in another house I had set out the previous year. They HAD abandoned their first nest!

I quickly took down house number 2 and watched as they circled in confusion looking for their new digs. After about 1/2 and hour mom found her way back to the screaming babies in the first nest. She went into the house and was there for a good minute or two. I was really curious to see what would happen.

She emerged, and rose to the challenge. She collected insects non stop all day and fed the little guys until I could actually hear them getting louder (stronger). I won't put out another house until these guys have flown the coup for certain.

One hypothesis I have is that these birds tend to make two sets of babies a summer at our place. They were late in getting started this year due to odd weather.

I wonder if something was telling them that today is the day to make nest number 2 and maybe that led them to abandoning the first nest? Any thoughts?

Jun 05, 2011
Carolina Wrens abandon nest
by: Cynthia in Ohio

Carolina Wrens built an amazing nest on a shelf in my enclosed breezeway, left it about a week, and came back to fill it with eggs and dutifully hatch them.

After several days of attentive feeding, they disappeared for 14 -16 hours yesterday, just before a set of harsh thunderstorms that lasted for hours with lots of rain and winds.

I left the door to the breezeway open until 2 am, hoping they'd come back late, and reopened the door at 6:30 am, after just 4 hours closed, hoping they'd arrive early in morning.

The pair just showed up at 8:30am, with lots of calling and shrieking as they took turns checking out the babies, who are now clearly dead.

My thought is to put on a disposable glove and removed the dead babies and leave the nest. Will the wrens use the nest again another time?

Jun 20, 2010
Orphaned Baby Wrens
by: Diane

Look at the article "Raising Orphaned Baby Wrens"-on this website. Hope that helps. Good Luck.

Jun 13, 2010
Wren No Parents
by: das

Hi, I was looking for an answer and saw the same thing. I have a nest that the parents have left and the baby wrens are still there. O is out and it fly's some, I'm thinking they decided it's time the kids be on their own and left. Don't know!

Jun 22, 2009
3 baby birds 1 dead
by: Anonymous

I have been watching these birds make their nest and care for their young then all of a sudden the parents were gone. There are two babies alive and weak, one is dead. What can I do to help? I think they are wrens of some kind. Thanks

Jun 14, 2009
That is worrisome
by: Bonnie

Since you've seen neither parent, that is worrisome. It would take a lot for both to be killed at the same time. Do you have any clues as to how old the babies are? I just found out they are ready to leave the nest within 10-14 days after hatching. They grow fast!

In Memphis, an organization called Wild Wings Rescue will help if birds are found injured or if a nest of babies is abandoned. You might try the local ASPCA or ask area veterinarians if they know.

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