The Love of Robins and the Tradition of Hunting and Shooting Birds

 What traditions are important to you?
And when do you need to reevaluate traditions?

Robins are one of the most loved British birds, the tiny beautiful garden bird, who loves to follow you around and inspect newly-turned soil. The striking red breast and face and brown head and wigs. A robin plays a vital part in the children’s story “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. and as a nation of gardeners this is a classic story.

“She stopped with a little laugh of pleasure, and there, lo and behold, was the robin swaying on a long branch of ivy. He had followed her and he greeted her with a chirp. As Mary had skipped toward him she felt something heavy in her pocket strike against her at each jump, and when she saw the robin she laughed again.

“You showed me where the key was yesterday,” she said. “You ought to show me the door today; but I don’t believe you know!”

The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off–and they are nearly always doing it.”

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Juvenile robin

If the tradition in Britain is to care for a value robins, there is a tradition in some part of Europe for shooting robins either for food or sport. Birds such as robins are being illegally shot or trapped before being plucked and skinned and then eaten. And sometimes the shot birds are simply discarded.

Many rare birds are shot dead or trapped as they migrate and some of the birds are kept as cage pets. Italy and Egypt are the worst offenders and in Egypt 5.7 million birds are illegally killed every year. The species that are most often shot or trapped are chaffinches, blackcaps, quail, song thrushes, calandra larks and skylarks. Every year around 25 million birds are illegally slaughtered in the Mediterranean.

Hunting has throughout centuries been a traditional pastime. This tradition has increasingly become more widespread and indiscriminate. There are amateur shooters who lack shooting skills as well as knowledge of ethics, something that makes the birds suffers even more.

For more information, visit Bird Life International. Go here to read a PDF-file with information and research regarding the killings of birds.

 

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