You would have to go pretty far in this world to find a sweeter looking creature than the British Robin.
Unlike its larger American cousin, the British Robin is basically a tiny pingpong ball with feathers. But don’t be fooled by its fluffy exterior – beneath that red breast beats the heart of a lion. I have seen Robins divebomb both cats and rats to protect their nests, setting up a shrill alarm if their territory is threatened. I have seen them guard a feeder with their life, bullying the blue tits and sparrows off the seed until they have had their fill.
When it comes to humans, it would also seem the Robin knows no fear. They often trail me around the garden when I am digging or raking, perching on the edge of the wheelbarrow or on my pile of garden tools in hopes of an unearthed worm. I had one fly into my living room this past autumn… it perched on the sofa cushion and looked at me with open curiosity for a minute or so before flying back out the open window. Anyone who lives here will agree: Robins are notoriously sociable.
Not long ago, I noticed a mug of feed corn tucked into a corner of our garage. I didn’t think much of it at first, but then I noticed that about once a week, HH would poke his head in the door and ask, “Honey, do we have any more feed corn?”
Math was never my long suit, but it didn’t take long for things to start adding up. It would seem that HH has found himself a feathered friend, an affable little pal who meets him at the garage door every morning and evening. Apparently this little bromance started a few months ago. One morning while opening the garage to pull his car out, HH noticed the Robin perched in a tree watching him. HH, being sociable himself, trotted back into the house and grabbed a handful of corn, tossed it in the bird’s direction and didn’t think any more of it. Until he got home that night, and his little friend had returned, cocking his head and chirping hopefully.
Well, one does not begin feeding a Robin unless one wants to continue feeding it, and voila, the symbiosis was complete. HH has a friend for life.
I sometimes hear him talking to that little bird. It is at times like that when I don’t suppose I could love him more.
- Feature photo: Shutterstock
- Bird in hand: dailymail.co.uk
- Curious bird: bbc.co.uk
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