I was stunned by an Associated Press item that was recently carried in The Arizona Republic which reported that the United States Department of Agriculture has a program which involves the slaughter of robins.
Wow, that is so un-American! The robin, known in some parts of the country as the Harbinger of Spring, is probably America's most beloved bird.
Obviously, the USDA is responding to some component of the agriculture industry, most likely fruit growers. Surely, some ways are available to protect fruit crops other than killing robins, perhaps netting, recorded robin distress calls, fake owls and/or hawks, etc.
Personally, I would rather pay more for fruit than buying it for less if it involves the reduction of the robin population.
Robins are significantly less numerous in the spring and summer nesting season in the Rim Country than in some other areas of the United States, possibly because of the drier climate which means fewer earthworms and insects for them to feed themselves and their young on.
Additionally, robins, like all ground-feeding bird species, suffer enormous depredation from our local plague of free-ranging cats, both feral and household pets.