Eastern Yellow Robin Click to enlarge image
Eastern Yellow Robin Image: Graham Winterflood
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Eopsaltria
    Family
    Petroicidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
  • Size Range
    15 cm to 17 cm

Eastern Yellow Robins belong to the genus Eopsaltria which translates as 'dawn-harper'. Appropriately, they are among the first birds to be heard at dawn.

Identification

The Eastern Yellow Robin is a medium sized 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. 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.

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.

Distribution

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.



Seasonality

Altitudinal migration to lower areas in winter.

Feeding and diet

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.

Communication

The voice includes a variety of high bell-like piping, a repeated 'chop chop' and some scolding notes.

Breeding behaviours

During breeding season, breeding pairs of Eastern Robins may lay up to three clutches of 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.

  • Breeding Season: July to January.

Economic impacts

Eastern Yellow Robins are inquisitive and confident with humans, often taking handouts of food from picnickers.