Tag Archives: trapped

What To Do If A Robin Gets Stuck In Your Supermarket

Today I had a neat little adventure. Today I was in a supermarket and there was a hive of activity with the staff gathered at various locations. And then I saw someone tossing a box across the floor, as though trying to land it on something. It was only when I spotted a bobble-like object leap into the air, that I realised what was going on. A little Robin (the European Robin – Erythacus rubecola) had entered the store yesterday (or maybe even longer ago) and had either stayed or become stuck indoors.

A nice fat 'Christmas Robin'. Although in the thrush family, like the American Robin, both birds are significantly different. The American Robin is much bigger and more closely related to the Redwing.
A nice fat ‘Christmas Robin’. Although in the thrush family, like the American Robin, both birds are significantly different. The American Robin is much bigger and more closely related to the Redwing.

The staff were doing everything they could, but couldn’t catch it. After getting my shopping I took a trip down to Birdwatch Ireland‘s HQ in Kilcoole to tell them about it. Unfortunately Birdwatch can’t do anything about ‘animal control’ issues, but they suggested the best course would be to leave the bird alone and leave the doors open and the Robin would find its way out. Attempting to catch the bird could lead to it being injured, especially without the proper equipment. I decided to drive back to the supermarket and tell them Birdwatch Ireland‘s opinion.

On the way back I suddenly remembered that Robins hate anything red, assuming it to be another Robin, and often attacking it after an initial inspection. If it moves, all the better. So when I got back the staff found a pair of bright red boots furry, and the robin appeared almost immediately and we were able to lead it to the door, and eventually get it out, as I tried to whistle my best imitation of a Robin’s call (it was awful, but seemed to work to some degree).

The whole red boot operation took less than five minutes, which was quite an achievement when you consider the bird had been there at least one day and nothing else had worked. It’s great when a plan works.