Are all Robins so fear­less?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

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.

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