Photo: C & D Frith
Australian Tropical Birds
ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD
Poecilodryas albispecularis 17 cm
In Australia the Grey-headed Robin is restricted to rainforests of the Wet Tropics region.
There is another population in the New Guinea highlands.
Unlike most robins in Australia, the Grey-headed Robins appearance is a mixture of greys and browns. Most other robins are bright pinks, reds and yellows. However, the Grey-headed Robin is certainly no less beautiful.
Due to its tortoise shell colouring, it can be difficult to see when not moving or at a distance.
It has both a single monotone whistle call and a two-tone whistle call, which are both familiar sounds in the Atherton Region.
It lives in the lower levels of the rainforest. It often perches on a low branch or sits sideways on a tree trunk and then darts down onto prey below, or hops over the forest floor looking for food.
Partners together build their fragile nests of moss and tendrils from 1 to 4m above the ground, regularly on lawyer vine stems.
When the female is incubating the eggs, the male often feeds her with such items as worms, insects or small lizards.
The breeding season is from July to March.
They are often seen hopping along the logs edging the lower picnic area, looking for insects and larvae.
The Grey-headed Robin is observed every day at the forest edge or on the lawn
at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge.
Additional Information: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
The birds colours can make it hard to be seen bouncing around the floor of the rainforest.
Fortunately, it some areas it can become quite tame, and can be watched as it frequently hops up to alight a branch or perch at an upright angle on a vertical trunk.
The bird can then be matched up with it's call, one of the most obvious, distinctive, constant and ultimately annoying calls of the forest, a series of constant high whistles; 'whi…..whi…..whi…..whi…..whi…..whi…' and so on.
Although in some places it can locally common, this bird's range is very restricted; it is found only in the north east of Queensland, and there only in the higher altitude rainforest.
Script: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide
Additional Grey-Headed Robin Photos
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