Flame Robin

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Petroica phoenicea

Flame Robin

The Flame Robin is the largest of the red robins, it is 4.7 – 5.5 inches long.

It has a more slender build than other members of the genus Petroica, with relatively long wings and neck and small head.

Males have bright orange-red plumage on throat, breast, and abdomen. Crown, nape, ear coverts, hindneck, and sides of neck are dark gray, and lores and chin are a gray-black.

The gray feathers of the sides of the crown may be suffused with dull orange. The rest of the upperparts, comprising the wings, back and tail, are dark gray.

There is a small, white frontal spot above the bill, and the wing bar and outer tail shafts are white. The feathers of the posterior belly, flanks, and vent are white with gray-black bases.

Females are plainly colored—pale brown overall, and a lighter buff underneath. Posterior belly, flanks, and vent are off-white.

As in the males, feathers on the side of the crown may be suffused with a dull orange, and this may also occur with breast feathers.

There are small, off-white marks on the wings and above the bill. Bill, legs, feet, and claws are black, and eyes dark brown.

CALL: Grouped into louder and quieter calls. Louder calls can be heard from 150 meters away, while the quieter calls are often briefer, can be heard from 30 meters.

The softer call has been described as a "tlip, terp" or "pip", and is used as a contact call in the vicinity of the nest.

The female makes a hissing sound, if approached while on the nest, and the male has been recorded making a wheezing call when displaying around the nest.

SONG: More varied and complex than that of the scarlet robin and has been described as the most musical of the red robins.

A series of descending notes in groups of three, the musical song has been likened to the phrases, "you-may- come, if-you-will, to-the-sea" or "you- are-not a-pretty-little-bird like-me".

Both males and females sing this song, often perched from a vantage point, such as a stump or fence. This loud song is used to attract the attention of a potential mate, and to announce the bringing of food to its mate or young.

Loud songs make up almost 90% of calls in spring, summer, and autumn, but less than 50% of calls from May to July. Males sing rarely during this time, although they do so to defend their territories.

Feeds on insects, spiders and other small arthropods.

In spring and summer, it is more often found in wet eucalypt forest in hilly or mountainous areas, particularly the tops and slopes, to an elevation of 1,800 meters.

Generally, prefers areas with more clearings and less understory. 

In the autumn and winter, they move to more open areas, such as grasslands and open woodlands at lower altitude.

Found in a broad coastal band around the south-east corner of the Australian mainland, from southern Queensland to just west of the South Australian border. It is also found in Tasmania.

The female builds a neat, deep cup nest with soft dry grass, moss, and bark. Spider webs, feathers, and fur are used for binding/filling, generally in a tree fork or crevice, or cliff or riverbank ledge, typically within a few meters of the ground.

She lays 3 or 4 dull white eggs, tinted bluish, grayish or brownish, and splotched with dark gray-brown. She also incubates the eggs, while the male supplies her with food.


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