Bald Rock National Park 12042009 954
The Eastern Yellow Robin is a medium sized (15 - 17 cm) robin. It has a grey back and head, and yellow underparts. Southern birds have an olive-yellow rump, while in northern birds it is brighter yellow. The throat is off-white and, in flight, there is a pale off-white wing bar. The bill is black. Both sexes are similar in plumage colour and pattern, but the female is slightly smaller. The voice includes a variety of high bell-like piping, a repeated "chop chop" and some scolding notes.
Young Eastern Yellow Robins are rufous-brown. The plumage has some paler streaks, which are confined to the wings when the birds are a little older.
The Western Yellow Robin, E. griseogularis, found in the south-west and south of Australia, differs from the Eastern Yellow Robin by having a grey breast. Another somewhat similar species is the Pale Yellow Robin, Tregellasia capito. This species is smaller, and has a pale face and lighter underparts.
Distribution and Habitat
Eastern Yellow Robins are found in a wide range of habitats, from dry woodlands to rainforests. They are also common in parks and gardens, and are usually first seen perched on the side of a tree trunk or other low perch. The birds are inquisitive and confident with humans, often taking handouts of food from picnickers.
The distribution of the Eastern Yellow Robin is confined to the east and south-east of the Australian mainland. The range is mostly along the coastal and adjacent areas, but does extend quite large distances inland in some areas. During winter months, birds move from highland areas to lowlands.
Food and feeding
Eastern Yellow Robins feed on insects, spiders and other arthropods. These are caught mostly on the ground, and are pounced on from a low perch. Some handouts are also taken at picnic areas. Birds normally feed alone, but may also be seen in pairs or small family groups.
Eastern Yellow Robin egg © Australian Museum
Breeding mostly takes place from July to January each year. During this time, breeding pairs may lay up to three clutches of two to three eggs. The female builds the nest and incubates the eggs. The nest is a woven cup of bark, grasses and other vegetation, bound together with spider web and lined with finer material and leaves. It is normally built in an upright tree fork, up to 20 m above the ground, but usually within 5 m. Both parents, and sometimes some other helpers, care for the young birds, which leave the nest at about 12 days after hatching.