Rose and Red-capped Robins in Canberra

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Rose and Red-capped Robins in Canberra
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 18:11:41 +1000

Hi All,

The question has been asked, so I'll give information from Canberra where both species occur (plus several other robin species). This is based on occurrences with the suburbs, which may be a little different  from in the bush. Here is the text from my: "Canberra Birds: A Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey". I have deleted all the special fonts as needed to get through to b-a. 

Red-capped Robin Petroica goodenovii

This species is a rare visitor with insufficient records to suggest a trend. As it arrives from regions to the north and west of Canberra, it is not surprising that GBS records are only from northern suburb sites.
Rank: 177, A = 0.00010, F = 0.34%, W = 0.2, R = 0.010%, G = 1.00.

Rose Robin Petroica rosea

This is a less conspicuous bird than the three preceding species, although it is probably more likely to be found skulking in any suburban garden that has dense vegetation, than are the other robins. It is primarily a forest bird. Its mannerisms and habits are fantail-like, rather than like the other robins. Although it is also an altitudinal migrant, the pattern is not as simple as the typical pattern, as there is a twin winter peak. There are almost none observed from October till March, indeed in some years none for several months. The peak months are in April and August with, in most years, an evident dip within the cooler months' peak. The Golden Whistler and Grey Currawong have similar patterns. This suggests that they are passing through either the Canberra region or the suburban habitat on their way to and then from somewhere else. There has been a dramatic rise in the abundance of the species. This has occurred in a most peculiar way. The abundance was quite stable for the first eight years then suddenly doubled to form a new fairly stable average, it then increased significantly again during the last four years. There is no survey bias that can account for this, as it is recorded at many sites. The difference is based on more than just many more records but more importantly that individual birds or pairs are staying at the sites much longer than they did in the early years. The number of weeks of the year that they were recorded (W) jumped from an average of 11 weeks per year for the first 8 years to 20.9 for the last 13 years. It is hard to suggest why its behaviour has changed. Many records contain repeat observations of similar numbers for a few weeks.
Graphs on page: 100, Rank: 72, A = 0.01313, F = 13.29%, W = 17.1, R = 1.210%, G = 1.08.


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