T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Robin (South Island) Petroica australis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Petroicidae
Genus: Petroica
Species: P. australis
Binomial name: Petroica australis
Common name: South Island Robin, South Island Bush Robin, Toutouwai, Kakaruai

Petroica australis the South Island Robin is a sparrow-sized bird (10–18 cm in length with a weight of around 35g) found only in New Zealand and are sparsely distributed through South Island. They are slightly more common in the north and west though there are two populations on the east coast.
The males are dark gray except for the distinct yellowish white lower chest, while females and juveniles are again lighter gray with a less distinct breast.
Petroica australis are friendly birds not afraid of humans, often foraging for invertebrates under the forest leaf litter right next to a standing person. Their main diet are invertebrates, including earthworms, beetles, and other arthropods though they do eat berries. They also flit around catching flying insects and flies. These little birds store their invertebrate prey singly at different sites and do not cache more than once at a particular site. In the winter their primary cache is earthworms, and during the summer it trends more toward cicadas. They have a very good memory of their storage sites; a male has been observed to find as many as five caches successively before returning the stores to his mate during incubation.
They breed during October and November building nests of moss firmly woven and lined with fine hair from ferns. 
A New Zealand robin is relatively long-lived bird and can survive up to 14 years when there are few or no introduced predators such as rats, stoats, and feral cats.

Hear sounds for this species from xeno-canto, the community database of shared bird sounds from around the world. http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Petroica-australis





Photographed at Lyall, Buller Gorge


Young bird photographed at Lyall Buller Gorge


Photographerd at Lyell, Buller Gorge showing its close proximity to a human. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/