Hooded Robin Male Click to enlarge image
Hooded Robin adult males are pied (black and white) with a black hood and back, white underparts, black wings, white shoulder bar and wing stripe. Image: N Chaffer
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • NSW Conservation Status
    Vulnerable species
  • Classification
    Species
    cucullata
    Genus
    Melanodryas
    Family
    Petroicidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    15 cm to 17 cm

Hooded Robins may have 'helpers' at their nest: other members of the group that help feed the nestlings and fledglings.

Identification

The Hooded Robin is a medium-large robin with a rather short slender bill and a moderately long tail which is square-tipped. Adult males are pied (black and white) with a black hood and back, white underparts, black wings, white shoulder bar and wing stripe. Females are similar to males but greyer with a brown-grey head and a dark brown wing with a white stripe. Juveniles are dark brown with off-white speckling, white markings on the upper body and white underneath. They are usually seen in pairs or small groups and are rather shy and quiet. Their flight is short, swift and undulating (curving up and down) with the white in the wings and tail is obvious.

Habitat

Hooded Robins are found in lightly timbered woodland, mainly dominated by acacia and/or eucalypts.

Distribution

Hooded Robins are found all over mainland Australia, except Cape York and eastern Gulf of Carpentaria or inland around the Simpson Desert, on the Nullarbor Plain or south of the Kimberley Ranges. They are more commonly found in south-eastern Australia from Adelaide to Brisbane.



Seasonality

Not well known but believed to be sedentary.

Feeding and diet

The Hooded Robin sits on exposed perches, such as dead branches and stumps and pounces on arthropods (mainly insects). It forages on or near the ground.

Communication

Quiet trills, occasional piping whistles.

Breeding behaviours

The Hooded Robin breeds in monogamous pairs. They construct a cup-shaped nest of leaves and bark, bound with spiders' web, placed in a crevice, hollow or hole in a tree or stump. The female incubates the eggs.Clearing of woodlands in south-eastern Australia has caused a decline in populations of the Hooded Robin. Young birds are taken by foxes.

  • Breeding season: August to November
  • Clutch size: Two to three, sometimes one.
  • Incubation: 15 days
  • Time in nest: 13 days

Conservation status

Clearing of woodlands in south-eastern Australia has caused a decline in populations of the Hooded Robin. Young birds are taken by foxes.

References

  • Pizzey, G. and Knight, F. 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
  • Morcombe, M. 2000. Field guide to Australian Birds. Steve Parish Publishing.
  • Simpson, K and Day, N. 1999. Field guide to the birds of Australia, 6th Edition.Penguin Books, Australia.
  • Higgins, P.J. and J.M. Peter (eds) 2002. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Volume 6: Pardalotes to Shrike-thrushes. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Hooded robin female
Hooded robin female, Melanodryas cucullata. Females are similar to males but greyer with a brown-grey head and a dark brown wing with a white stripe. Juveniles are dark brown with off-white speckling, white markings on the upper body and white underneath. Image: CE Bryant
© Australian Museum