MarkG139's picture

My tame Robin

My Robin is very tame, he will fly straight to my hand from a distance of 40 feet or so. I have a conservatory which I use as a potting shed (don't ask!) I leave the door ajar & he/she comes in & feeds from my hand. I think it's a he, but I'm not sure, how do you tell the sex of a Robin? This happens many times during the day. I feed him chopped Muesli & he is quite partial to Stilton cheese. I take great pleasure in feeding him Vine Weevil grubs if I find any when gardening. Last summer he was flying off with 5/6 in his beak. If he wants feeding he will fly up to me & hover (yes hover!) about 6" from my face, it certainly grabs your attention. On a couple of occasions he has flown right into my house.

I think it all started about 12-15 months ago, I was working in the garden & he came looking for treats. When this happens I stop work & keep still to allow Robins or Blackbirds to peck over the disturbed ground, I then move slowly & start work again. My memory is not clear, but what probably happened is; I stopped work again, picked up a few small worms & held them in my outstretched hand. Robin was probably a bit hungry & feeling bold, he made a dash & snatched a worm off my hand. The process was repeated many times & gradually he became more confident & relaxed about landing on my hand to the stage where he will now fly in from a considerable distance & he just sits there feeding to his heart's content. I no longer have to hold my hand outstretched & once he's on my hand I can slowly move him quite close to my face to get a close-up view.

There is one aspect of his behaviour which is both quaint & puzzling, when I'm working in the potting shed, he will come in, I'll feed him, he'll hop off & perch on a nearby plant pot & watch me working. He'll sit there & happily chatter away to me, I can only describe it as chattering, he's not singing at the top of his voice. I would love to know what he's saying & of course I talk back to him, but I'm not fluent in Robin......

I see him most days, a few weeks ago I did not see him for 4/5 days & I feared the worst, but lo & behold he turned up again & behaved as though nothing had happened.

As I said in my observation post he has twice had ticks attached just above his LHS eye. This was worrying, because they were quite large compared to his size. I did think about trying to catch him to remove them, but I decided I could do more harm than good & he would never trust me again so I just let nature take its course. A number of times he would try to remove the tick with his foot/claws & fortunately they eventually disappeared. I did not see this happen.

It is difficult to demonstrate his behaviour to others, he is much more wary when other people are around.

I feel very honoured to have gained his trust, I feel like he is a close friend & I'm dreading the time he fails to appear.

That's all I can think of for now; I will amend this post if anything else occurs. Please feel free to ask any questions.

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Ray Turner's picture

Thank you ...

... Mark for sharing this lovely story. I can echo the robin coming in the house; my father also has a robin that comes up to him (though not as tame as yours, he will not feed from hand) while gardening and on one or two occasions it has actually followed him into the kitchen much to his joy.

Ray

Roger Gilbert's picture

My Grandparents ....

used to have a tame Thrush which would come into the kitchen. The would lay a trail of sultanas for it to follow and it would get more on arrival in the house.

Howardian Local Nature Reserve
http://www.howardianlnr.org.uk

Lippy-Art's picture

Beautiful story! We once had

Beautiful story! We once had a robin that sat on the window-sill and pecked at the glass when he wanted feeding; but he was not as tame as this! You must feel very honoured that he trusts you so much!.. And also a perfect example of how animals can train us humans too! haha =)

Wise Old Owl's picture

A tame robin, eh?

Fantastic!
I have a tame (ish, he doesn't like strangers!) white Dove which I named Spooky, but a tame robin, WOW!

From the wise old owl!