Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The pony and the very patient robin: Little bird forced to queue for food after being barged out of the way by foraging horse


Out of my way: The tiny robin is forced to queue after the Dartmoor pony nuzzled it aside while they both were foraging for food in the snow ion Boxing Day

They say it’s the early bird that catches the worm.

But this robin had to wait its turn after a Dartmoor pony got in first as he hunted for food.

The brave, little bird had been pecking through the snow for scraps near Ashburton in Devon when the pony pushed it out of the way as it too foraged for something to eat.

Undeterred, the cheeky robin stationed itself next to the pony’s hooves in the hope of a tasty morsel turning up.

Like many British songbirds, robins have been hit hard by the icy weather. Charities have warned that they could be ‘near extinction’ because of the snow and frost. Clive Sherwood, of SongBird Survival, said: ‘Hard winters can have a greater effect than pesticides or any of the other actions of man on the numbers of songbirds.

‘The smaller birds weigh only an ounce and they just cannot maintain their body heat.’

Dartmoor ponies have also had a difficult winter. It was revealed this month that more than 100 healthy ponies have been slaughtered and sold to zoos as animal feed because a fall in market price has left breeders struggling to sell them.

Including unhealthy ones, 700 Dartmoor ponies have been killed in the last 12 months.

source: dailymail

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