Yellow Robin




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Get ready to discover the fascinating world of the Eastern yellow robin! This Australasian robin species can be found along the coastal and sub-coastal regions of eastern Australia, stretching from South Australia to Cooktown. With its distinctive yellow plumage and observable behavior, the Eastern yellow robin is a captivating bird that inhabits a variety of habitats, including woodlands and sclerophyll forests. Known for its perch-and-pounce hunting style, this robin is often seen perched on tree trunks or low branches. Stay tuned to learn more about its taxonomy, distribution, and unique characteristics!


The eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) belongs to the family Petroicidae and is native to coastal and sub-coastal eastern Australia. It was first described by ornithologist George Shaw in 1790. There are two recognized subspecies: the northern yellow robin (subsp. chrysorrhoa) and the nominate or eastern (subsp. australis).


The eastern yellow robin is one of the larger Australasian robins, measuring around 15 to 16 cm (6 in) in length. It is easily observed and has a distinct appearance. The male has a bright yellow breast and belly, a grey back, and a black head with a white forehead. The female is duller in color, with a pale yellow breast and belly. Both sexes have a black tail with white tips.

Distribution and habitat

The eastern yellow robin is found in a wide range of habitats in eastern Australia, including heaths, mallee, acacia scrub, woodlands, and sclerophyll forests. It is most commonly found in damp or shaded areas, often near water. Unlike some migratory birds, the eastern yellow robin does not migrate over great distances, but it may make local movements with the changing seasons, particularly to higher or lower ground.


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  1. BirdLife International (2016). “Eopsaltria australis”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22704849A93988481.
  2. Ford, Julian (1979). “Speciation or Subspeciation in the Yellow Robins?”. Emu. 79 (3): 103–06. doi:10.1071/mu9790103.
  3. Schodde, Richard; Mason, Ian J. (1999). The Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines. A Taxonomic and Zoogeographic Atlas of the Biodiversity of Birds in Australia and its Territories.
  4. Loynes, Kate; Joseph, Leo; Keogh, J. Scott (2009). “Multi-locus phylogeny clarifies the systematics of the Australo-Papuan robins (Family Petroicidae, Passeriformes)”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 53 (1): 212–19. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.05.012.
  5. Christidis, L.; Irestedt, M.; Rowe, D.; Boles, W.E.; Norman, J.A. (2011). “Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA phylogenies reveal a complex evolutionary history in the Australasian robins (Passeriformes: Petroicidae)”.

Further reading

  1. Marchant, S; Higgins, P J (eds.). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Vol. 1: Ratites to Ducks.
  2. Pavlova, A.; Amos, J. N.; Joseph, L.; Loynes, K.; Austin, J.; Keogh, S.; Stone, G. N.; Nicholls, J. A.; Sunnucks, P. (2013). “Perched at the mito-nuclear crossroads: Divergent mitochondrial lineages correlate with environment in the face of ongoing nuclear gene flow in an australian bird”.
  3. Morales, H.; Pavlova, A.; Joseph, L.; Sunnucks, P. (2015). “Positive and purifying selection in mitochondrial genomes of a bird with mitonuclear discordance”.
  4. Hernan, M.; Pavlova, A.; Sunnucks, P.; Major, R.; Amos, N.; Joseph, L.; Wang, B.; Lemmon, A. R.; Endler, J. A.; Delhey, K. (2016). “Neutral and selective drivers of colour evolution in a widespread Australian passerine”.

External links

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Species overview

The eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) is an Australasian robin found along the eastern coast of Australia. With its distinct yellow and black plumage, it is easily recognizable. This species has a wide distribution, ranging from South Australia to Cooktown in Queensland. It occupies various habitats, including heaths, woodlands, and forests, and is often found in shaded or damp areas near water.

Conservation status

The eastern yellow robin is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. This means that it is not currently facing any major conservation threats and its population is relatively stable. However, like many other Australian bird species, it may be affected by habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities. Conservation efforts should focus on preserving and restoring its preferred habitats.

Physical characteristics

The eastern yellow robin has a distinctive appearance. The male has a bright yellow breast and belly, a grey back, and a black head with a white forehead. Its black tail has white tips. The female is duller in color, with a pale yellow breast and belly. This species has a compact body, measuring around 15 to 16 cm (6 in) in length.

The eastern yellow robin is known for its perch and pounce hunting style. It observes its surroundings from a tree trunk, wire, or low branch, and then quickly swoops down to catch insects and other small prey. Its diet consists mainly of insects and other small invertebrates.

Breeding in the eastern yellow robin typically occurs in the spring. They are known to form communal breeding groups, with multiple individuals assisting in nest-building, incubation, and feeding of the young. The nest is a neat cup made of fine plant material and spider web, often placed in a fork and camouflaged with lichen, moss, bark, or leaves.

Overall, the eastern yellow robin is a delightful and easily observable bird species. Its beautiful plumage and charming behavior make it a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

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