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Scarlet Robin, Petroica multicolor

Scarlet Robin Scarlet Robin (Photograph by Dave Watts)

Description

The Scarlet Robin is a small, plump bird, to 130mm. Males have a striking scarlet breast, black head, neck and upperparts with a conspicuous small white patch above the bill. The lower underparts are white. The wings are barred white and the outer tail is also white.

Females are brown above with an orange-red breast, white forehead and brown wings and white underparts. Young birds resemble females but are streaked white above, tinged buff on the wings and are mottled dark-brown on the breast and sides of the body.

Habitat

The Scarlet Robin occurs singularly or in pairs in open, dry forests and woodlands. During winter, it will visit more open habitats such as farmland and urban parks and gardens.

Diet

The species feeds mainly on insects and forages on or near the ground.

Breeding

Like many birds, Scarlet Robins are monogamous. During the breeding season (August - December), the female selects a suitable, well-hidden nest site in a tree fork and builds a compact open cup nest of bark, grass, twigs, moss and other plant materials. The nest is bound with spider web. Three eggs are laid and incubated by the female while the male feeds her. Both sexes feed the nestlings.

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Call

Males have a repeated call used to advertise and defend territory, often singing from high, prominent perches. (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound)

Distribution

Found in suitable habitat throughout much of Tasmania except King Island and the far southwest.