Pink Robin at Bendigo

Subject: Pink Robin at Bendigo
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 19:05:24 +1000
Hi Chris and others
I think that Pink Robins don't read the field guides, because when I observe 
them in
wet forests and rainforest areas in the Yarra Ranges National Park and Toolangi
State Forest during Spring and Summer, they don't restrict their foraging to low
levels.  Most of the time they are close to the ground, but sometimes I see them
quite high, particularly in tall Myrtle Beech trees (Nothofagus cunninghamii).


> G'day all,
> A week or so ago, I reported seeing an adult male Pink Robin in box-ironbark
> forest south of Bendigo in the Mandurang State Forest (an unusual record with
> most migrating birds being 'brown birds').  Below are some further comments on
> that initial observation, and details of subsequent observations, which may be
> of interest to some readers.
> When I first saw the bird, it was chased then chasing a male Flame Robin.  I
> instantly identified it as a Pink Robin - bright pink extending right down to
> below the abdomen, no white edging to the tail and black rather than charcoal
> upperparts.  It was quite convincingly a Pink Robin - a new bird for me.  What
> was interesting however, was its foraging behaviour.   I have seen both male 
> and
> female Rose Robins on several previous occasions, including wintering birds in
> the Bendigo district.   This Pink Robin was foraging just like a Rose -
> similarly to what I have witnessed and just like it says in the books (Rose 
> are
> considered the most arboreal of the 'red' robins).  When I say foraging like a
> Rose, I mean it was up as high as 15-16 metres, and erratically flitting about
> the canopy of Grey and Yellow Box trees.  Just seconds later however, it was
> down on the ground and perching and feeding amongst the stems and branches of
> the dense and shrubby understorey of Drooping Cassinia and Spreading Wattle
> (much like an Eastern Yellow Robin, and just as the guides state for Pink
> Robin).
> The next day, I went back to the same spot, and got even better views than the
> initial observation.  I went there twice on the same day (first at about 
> 0800h,
> then later at around 1400h).  I quickly located the bird both times, and it 
> was
> foraging solely down low amongst the understorey - typical Pink Robin 
> behaviour.
> This morning, between 0730-0830h, I again observed the robin, and it had
> reverted to it's 'old' behaviour - a combination of canopy foraging and 
> seconds
> later, ground feeding and perching sideways on low stumps and trunks amongst
> dense understorey.  I think the behaviour of these migratory birds changes a
> great deal.  OK, the field guides say that they typically feed amongst dense 
> low
> understorey, and I'm sure they do in their 'normal' breeding range, but on
> migration their behaviour must surely change, probably as a result of the
> dramatic changes in habitat they are using (ie. rainforest gullies vs dry open
> box-ironbark forest).  This morning, I watched the bird from as close as 3
> metres, and could even hear its sharp single noted 'tick' call.
> It is a fantastic birding spot - this morning I obtained a list of 41 species
> within an hour, including Diamond Firetail, Crested Bellbird and Swift Parrot.
> Regards,
> Chris Tzaros

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