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Think pink ?

January 8, 2013
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Pink Robin

Pink robin 2006This plump little bird is clearly a robin and was displaying typical robin behaviour in Steve and Heather’s garden at Flowerdale the other day – flicking its wings and tail, and darting from a low perch onto prey on the ground. But the question is, what sort of robin? Identifying the species of female and immature ‘red robins’ (genus Petroica) – Scarlet, Red-capped, Flame, Rose and Pink Robins – is never easy, but Steve thinks this is a Pink Robin (Petroica rodinogaster) and we agree, even though it seems well out of its usual forest habitat of shady fern gullies. The key identifying features of the female Pink Robin are: buff rather than white wing markings, no white on tail and a small buff patch above its bill.

Steve and Heather’s shady garden must be to its liking because, on checking his photo records, Steve found he had recorded a similar bird in 2006 (see photo at right), but was unsure of the identification at the time. Now all we need is for the distinctive pink male to turn up! For more information and a photo of the male click HERE to visit the Birdlife Australia’s Birds in Backyards website.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2013 5:47 pm

    A keen birdwatcher in Euroa (hotter & drier than Flowerdale) gets Pink Robins in her yard occasionally, so Flowerdale isn’t out of the question. Hard to say from the pics though, whether there’s any white in the tail. Some female/immature Flames/Scarlets look very similar eg http://www.pbase.com/tassiebirds/image/137770191 , http://www.pbase.com/tassiebirds/image/110854738 , http://www.pbase.com/tassiebirds/image/143710398 .

  2. January 9, 2013 9:06 am

    Fair comment Bert – the identification will have to remain unresolved until the adult male is also in the picture!

  3. Terry Hubbard permalink
    January 10, 2013 5:26 pm

    Is it a Hooded Robin (F)? – see page 75 of the Broken Boosey and Goldfields Birds book – we were looking at it yesterday Dave. Terry

    • January 10, 2013 6:45 pm

      Thanks for the input Terry – your comment highlights again how confusing the female robins can be. We tended to rule out the Hooded Robin – Steve described the bird as ‘smaller than a sparrow’, which would also make it smaller than a Hooded Robin (which is slightly larger than a sparrow). The Hooded Robin also lacks the small white or buff mark above the bill which is typical of most of the ‘red robins’. Also the female Hooded Robin has an unbroken white wing panel compared to the broken buff wing markings of Steve’s bird.
      Dave

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