Red Capped Robin

(Petroica goodenovii)

Description: The male is black above and white below with a distinctive scarlet-red cap, white shoulders and a red breast that contrasts strongly with a black throat. The black wing is barred white and the tail is black and white edges. Females are very different in appearance, grey brown above and off white below with a reddish cap, brown black wings barred buff to white and some have faint red on the breast.  Young birds are similar to females but are streaked white above, have an pale buff wing bar and their breast and sides are streaked or mottled dark brown.

Size: 12cm

Voice: falling insect like ‘di-di-dididit drr’

Feeding: Feeds on insects and other invertebrates. Forages on the ground or low vegetation. Often perches on a stump or fallen branch, then rushing down to take insects from the ground. Can be seen in mixed feeding flocks with Willie Wagtails, Rufous Whistlers, black faced Wood swallows.

Habitat: Tall trees or shrubs, such as eucalypts, acacia or cypress pine woodlands.  Mainly found in the arid and semi-arid zones, south of the tropics. Seen on farms with scattered trees, as well as vineyards and orchards. Only occasionally found in gardens.

Location: Interior of Australia generally, rarely seen on the south coast or far south west coast. An isolated population occurs on Rottnest Island.  They will visit areas along the east coast in times of drought.

Nests: Small cup-shaped, made of fine shreds of bark and dry grass, liberally bound with cobweb and lined with hair or fur, built in a fork usually within a metre or two of the ground.

Eggs: 2 or 3, bluish white, minutely dotted with shades of brown and underlying spots of violet grey.

Breeding: September to December – breed in pairs with a breeding territory defended by the male.  Males sing from their perches around the boundary of their territory to deter other robins. The males feeds the female during the nest building and incubation. The female incubates the eggs alone and both sexes feed the young.

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys,,

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