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  1. 147 Photo by David Cook Wildlife Photography
  2. Female_eastern_yellow_robin_building_nest_by_david_jenkins-cropped Female building nest by David Jenkins

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eopsaltria australis

Appearance

  • Colour: it has a grey back and head, and bright-yellow underparts. Southern birds have an olive-yellow rump, while birds in northern Australia have a brighter yellow rump. Its throat is off-white and when seen in flight, it has a pale bar on its wings. Its bill is black.
  • Young birds are rufous-brown with paler streaks.
  • Size: 13 – 17 cm long, with the males being slightly larger.

Behaviour

  • Call: a variety of high bell-like piping, a repeated ‘chop chop’ and some scolding notes.
  • Diet: insects, spiders and other arthropods. They are caught mostly on the ground, with the bird pouncing onto them from a low perch.
  • Movement: Most birds are sedentary or resident, but some move from higher elevations to the lowlands in winter.
  • Breeding: the female builds the nest in a fork in a shrub or small tree, usually within six metres of the ground. The nest is a woven cup of strips of bark, grass, fine twigs, moss and other vegetation, bound with spider web and lined with fine material and leaves. Two to three eggs are laid, and are incubated by the female, but both parents care for the young birds. There may be up to three clutches of eggs laid each season.

What to Observe

  • Courting/mating
  • Calling
  • Feeding
  • Bird on chicks
  • Bird on eggs
  • Bird on nest
  • Bird feeding young

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

The effects of climate change may influence the timing of when Eastern Yellow Robins start to breed and the duration of their breeding activities. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?" by recording the observations above.

When To Look

  • Breeding commonly occurs between July and January.

Where To Look

  • In a wide range of habitats from dry woodland to rainforest. It is also occasionally also seen in parks and gardens.
  • In eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia, from south-eastern South Australia and Victoria, north through the Australian Capital Territory and the eastern half of New South Wales, into Queensland, where it occurs as far north as Cooktown. It occurs mainly in coastal and adjacent areas, though in some regions its range extends well inland to the inland slopes of the Great Divide and the adjacent plains. In northern Queensland it is mainly restricted to the cooler heights of the Great Dividing Range.
  • Look in forests and woodlands, parks and gardens; birds are often seen perched on the side of a tree trunk or on a low perch.

Eastern Yellow Robin compiled distribution map - BirdLife International

Eastern Yellow Robin compiled distribution map - BirdLife International

Where To Look

Maps of Habitat Suitability

Eopsaltria_australis-eastern_yellow_robin

Current probability
of occurrence
2070 probability
of occurrence (RCP 8.5)
Species range change from
current to 2070 probability

Above, the left and middle maps show the modelled habitat suitability for the the species under current and potential future climate conditions. The colours indicate the predicted habitat suitability from low (white) to high (dark red).

The future habitat suitability is modelled for the year 2070 under a climate change scenario that represents 'business as usual' (RCP 8.5). The map on the right shows how the range of the species might change between now and 2070, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, green areas where the species range might expand, and blue areas where the habitat is predicted to be suitable for the species now and in the future.

The models for this species were run in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory. Please note that while models can be very informative, they are only a representation of the real world and thus should always be viewed with caution. You can read more about the science behind these models here.

Sightings

References

Boles WE 1988. The Robins and Flycatchers of Australia. Angus and Robertson and The National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife, Sydney.

Higgins PJ and Peter JM (eds) 2002. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 6. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Pizzey G and Knight F 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

Schodde R and Tideman SC (eds) 1990. Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds (2nd Edition). Reader's Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Links

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  1. What Else?

    • Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis): occurs in south-western and southern Australia, mainly west of the Eyre Peninsula, so the range of this species does not overlap with that of the Eastern Yellow Robin.
    • Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito): smaller than an Eastern Yellow Robin, with olive-coloured upperparts, a pale face and lighter, pale-yellow underparts and lacks a pale eyebrow.
  1. Did You Know?

    The call recording is by David Stewart Naturesound

    Its genus name Eopsaltria means ‘dawn singer’, as it is one of the first birds to be heard at dawn.

    Its average weight is 20 grams.

    It is very inquisitive and is often confident around people, often taking handouts of food from picnickers.

  1. Listen to the Call