Update - Red-capped Robins - Gungahlin

To: COG Chatline <>
Subject: Update - Red-capped Robins - Gungahlin
From: Julie Clark <>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:19:48 +0000
Hi All,

The Red-capped Robins that I've been observing in the vicinity of Yerrabi Pond have done it again!! They have produced a third brood ... this time there are two juveniles.

I observed the juvenile of the second brood from December 28 until January 9. I then saw the male and occasionally the female ... mostly just one or the other each visit, for the next 2 - 3 weeks. 

On January 31 I saw the male, female and a juvenile and was fairly sure I heard a second juvenile. The juvenile I saw was obviously very young and stayed hidden in dense foliage (a photo on Flickr).
​On February 5 I saw only the male and a juvenile. On February 10 I finally spotted the second juvenile ... very distinctive calling from both juveniles ... each juvenile remained in the company of a parent and the pairs were separated by several trees and remained apart. Each juvenile was being fed by the parent and didn't venture far away.

An interesting sighting on February 10​ ... I saw the female and one juvenile in one location, took a few pics and decided to go down to the pond for a wander. About 100 metres away was a robin perched on a wooden post. It looked like a bit like the female (but I knew it couldn't be the female) and it looked like a younger bird. I watched it for some minutes, doing what robins do .. flying to the ground, catching food and returning to the post. I knew it couldn't be the second juvenile as they were still staying close to parents and I hadn't yet seen them feeding themselves and behaving this independently. Eventually the male flew in and appeared to be trying to chase this robin away. (my interpretation of the behaviour). Next I saw the second juvenile being fed by the male, so I knew that there was a fifth robin present. Some interesting behaviour followed with the 5th bird and the juvenile ending up in the same tree and the juvenile begging the other bird for food .... fascinating to watch. ... Eventually I went back to confirm that the female and other juvenile were still in their location, and they hadn't moved.

I'm thinking that the fifth bird was most likely the juvenile of their second brood, as it isn't much older and could possibly have remained in the area. Joh Dunn and I again had a brief view of 5 birds a couple of days later.

Note - male is moulting ... some red feathers appearing on chest and head going darker.

Apologies for the long-winded story but I find it fascinating and am thinking that maybe one or two others may also be interested. I'd love to hear any other theories on the 5th bird and also whether 3 successful broods is unusual.

PS Highlight - last visit 'Juvenile No2' feeding on the ground and coming to within a metre or 2 of Joh and I as we knelt down to take pics. The juvenile was happy to fossick around for at least 2 minutes and even crossed the bitumen path at one point (4 photos together of this bird .. firstly on the ground and then all tuckered out and in the tree for a siesta!)

Naturally photos are on Flickr.


Julie Clark
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