This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
Familiar and favoured throughout the country, this bird is regarded generally as entirely harmless, but it will take a heavy toll of red currants, and no worse pest exists in autumn in a house of ripe grapes. It enters the structure by the side or front ventilators, probably in quest of worms, not because the ground is frozen, but from its prying into places for food easiest obtainable. Once it tastes the grapes there is only two things for it, either closely net over the ventilator-openings, or bait a few small bird-traps with a berry secured by the shank to each. There is no need to conceal the trap; set it where easily seen by the robin, and it will soon peck at the berry and be caught by the neck. This is the only repressive measure we have found it necessary to take against the robin, for the few currants it takes in the garden are insignificant as compared with pilfering grapes. Circumstances alter cases, for where there are berries of wild plants in the vicinity, such as nightshade, spindle-tree, honeysuckle, and ivy, the birds will forage more there than in the garden, though often, particularly the young robins, seen hunting under currant and gooseberry bushes and raspberries for insects; indeed, the robin makes itself at home about dwellings as well as copses and woods.