Friday, 14 December 2012

Scarlet robin

Petroica multicolor

Photo by Kevin Agar (Flickr)

Common name:
scarlet robin (en); rouxinol-escarlate (pt); miro écarlate (fr); petroica escarlata (es); Australienscharlachschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Petroicidae

This species is found in south-eastern and south-western Australia, in Tasmania and Norfolk island, and in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon islands, Vanuatu and the Bougainville islands of Papua-New Guinea.

These birds are 12-13,5 cm long and weigh 12-14 g.

The scarlet robin is mostly found in dry forests and savannas, namely Eucalyptus stands, but also in moist tropical forests, rural areas, plantations and within urban areas.

They mainly feed on insects and other arthropods, namely Coleoptera, Collembola, Diptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Pseudoscorpionida and Araneae.

Scarlet robins breed in August-March. The female builds the nest alone, a neat cup made of spider webs, fine bark, moss and grass, lined with fine bark, fur, feathers and hairs. It is placed in a tree or sometimes in a scrub, 2-14 m above the ground. The female lays 1-4 pale blue, green or grey eggs with olive-brown splotches, which are incubated for 15-18 days. The chicks fledge 15-17 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be locally fairly common. The population is estimated to be in decline following a possible range contraction owing to habitat loss, as well as predation pressure from introduced species such as cats and black rats Rattus rattus.

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