Motacilla australis White, 1790, New South Wales, Australia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Yellow robin, gray-breasted robin, western yellow robin; French: Miro а poitrine jaune; German: Goldbauchschnдpper, Graumantelschnдpper; Spanish: Tordo Australiano Amarillo.
6–7 in (15–17 cm); 0.6–0.8 oz (18–23 g). Yellow underparts with gray throat and grayish brown crown, head, and wings.
Eastern Australia from southern Cape York to southeastern Australia. Two well-defined forms in north and south, with clinal variation.
Rainforest, eucalypt forest and woodland, mallee (low, scrubby evergreen Eucalyptus trees found in western Australia) and acacia woodland.
Territorial in breeding season but expands home range in nonbreeding season. Fairly quiet and tame. Often perches sideways on trunks. Sedentary. Song comprised of piping notes and a “chop...chop” call, especially in early morning; harsher calls when threatened.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Pounces on ground from low perches to capture larvae, beetles, other insects, and spiders. Occasionally gleans from bark or sallies for flying insects.
Breeds from July to January, with repeated attempts. Cupshaped nest placed in fork and made from bark, decorated with lichens, and lined with grass and dead leaves. Clutch contains two to three eggs, which are incubated for about 15 days. Female is fed by male while incubating, and young fed by both parents and sometimes helpers. Young fledge at 10–14 days. About a quarter to a third of nests are successful.
Not threatened. Common in wetter forests but less so in drier woodland; has declined in agricultural areas.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
A familiar bush bird.
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