And he certainly wasn't alone. In 1841, he wrote that the robins' return to Southern states in the fall caused "a sort of jubilee among the gunners, and the havoc made among them with bows and arrows, blowpipes, guns, and traps of different sorts is wonderful. Every gunner brings them home by the bagsful, and the markets are supplied with them at a very cheap rate. Several persons may at this season stand round the foot of a tree loaded with berries, and shoot the greater part of the day, so fast do the flocks of Robins succeed each other."
Today it's not only difficult to imagine people shooting and eating robins--it's also startling to think how many birds there must once have been compared to what we see today.
|The red, red robin|
You can read more about the red, red robin in Passionate Slugs & Hollywood Frogs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Backyards.