Are all Robins so fearless?
QWe were at Slimbridge in the Zeiss Hide and a Robin flew in and sang for a while, then flew around, probably looking for food. It seemed to be totally unconcerned by the people in there. It was a magical moment as he flew very close to us. Did he know he was safe with birdwatchers? Brian Boyland
AAll resident birds, or long-term visitors, at a large reserve such as Slimbridge must eventually get used to the large numbers of human visitors, and to the fact that they’re in a safe place where food is regularly provided, but Robins in Britain are well-known for their fearlessness and confiding nature, anyway – many a gardener will tell you stories of Robins that stand next to them as they dig the soil, snatching worms as they’re uncovered. They’ll also take food such as mealworms from the hand, and there are plenty of records of them going in and out of places such as supermarkets and garden centres to take advantage of any feeding opportunities. Interestingly, it’s often a different story on the continent. In many places small birds such as Robins have historically been hunted, so they tend to be a much warier species there, confined to woodland and woodland edges and much more rarely seen in gardens.