“The Red-capped Robin is the most widespread of the 5 red-breasted Robins that occur in mainland Australia. It prefers drier habitats and is found across Australia west of the Great Dividing Range and south of the Tropic of Capricornia but does not occur in Tasmania.
The red cap of the male is both distinctive and diagnostic (first photo) and even the brown female has a reddish cap (second photo) making her easier to identify than the other female Robins. With a length of 11 – 12 cm./4.3 – 4.7 in., it is the smallest of the Robins. Typically, it perches in low branches and flies down onto the ground to pick up insect prey.
In the early days of European settlement of the colonies, any small bird with a red breast was likely to be called a Robin after the familiar European Robin so it isn’t surprising to find that such birds are not necessarily closely related. The European Robin is a member of the Old World Flycatchers, The American Robin is a Thrush, while all the Australasian Robins belong to a separate family the Australo-Papuan Robins (Petroicidae ).
On the website, I’ve recently reorganized the galleries for:
Petrels & Shearwaters;
and added night-time photos of:
and – just for the record – Stubble Quail.
What a cute and beautiful bird. You will have to visit Ian’s site and see all his Red-capped Robin Photos. From what I have read about them, they may be small, but they stay on the move or are defending their turf. This from Wikipedia:
“The Red-capped Robin typically perches in a prominent location low to the ground, often flicking its wings and tail. It is very active and does not stay still for long. The female has been reported as being fairly tame, while the male is more wary of human contact.
The Red-capped Robin is territorial during the breeding season; the area occupied has been measured between 0.25 and 1.2 ha (0.6–3 acres). A pair lives and forages within their territory before dispersing in autumn. The male proclaims ownership by singing loudly from a suitable perch at the territory boundary, and confronts other males with a harsh scolding call should they make an incursion. Two males have been seen to face off one another 30 cm to 1 m (12–40 in) apart, flicking wings and maneuvering for position in a threat display while the female is actually incubating her eggs.”
He sends the springs into the valleys; They flow among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:10-12 NKJV)
There favorite food (96%) is beetles with ants most of the remainder. They do like locust, butterflies, dragon and damselflies, etc. It likes to pounce on it prey on the ground. It catches some flying, but is a specialist for ground attacks.
The sad part about this bird is the treat from loss of habitat. They used to be common in the western suburbs of Sydney, but now has almost disappeared for the there and the Sydney Basin. Other places are noticing declines of this neat Red-capped Robin. Two other threats are the feral cats and other birds raiding the nest and young.
This is of a Red-capped Robin taking on a mirror. Ignore the last part. By jezau2
Ian’s Bird of the Week for more of these articles.
Ian’s Birdway Website
Australo-Papaun Robins Petroicidae by Bird Families of the World
Red-capped Robin at Wikipedia