Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Touching Bird Eggs
Name: Barbara
Status: educator
Age: other
Location: IL
Country: N/A
Date: 7/9/2005

is it true that once a human has touched a bird nest that the mother will no longer approach that nest?

Not necessarilly. Most song birds have poor sense of smell. As long as the contact is minimal the adults will return, so that if a nest falls intact it can be put back and the adults will continue to attend it. What will scare the adults away is excessive contact or human presence or other disturbance.

J. Elliott

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory