The male Pink Robin has a sooty black throat and upperparts. The wings have faint, tan-buff wing-bars. The breast and belly are deep lilac-pink, and there is a small white patch on the forehead. The tail is plain, making this species the only ‘red’ robin with no white markings on the tail. It differs from the similar, and more common Rose Robin Petroica rosea, which is dark grey above, with a deeper rose-pink breast and white belly, and white outer tail feathers. The female has warm olive-brown upperparts and cinnamon-buff underparts, a buff forehead spot, and may have a slight pink wash on the breast. The chestnut-buff wings and the absence of white in the tail, distinguishes the female from all other female robins.
The Pink Robin is found in Tasmania and the uplands of eastern Victoria and far south-eastern NSW, almost as far north as Bombala. On the mainland, the species disperses north and west and into more open habitats in winter, regularly as far north as the ACT area, and sometimes being found as far north as the central coast of NSW.
Habitat and ecology
- Inhabits rainforest and tall, open eucalypt forest, particularly in densely vegetated gullies.
- Catches prey by the perch-and-pounce method, foraging more on the ground than the more flycatcher-like Rose Robin. Insects and spiders are the main dietary items.
- Breeds between October and January and can produce two clutches in a season.
- The nest is a deep, spherical cup made of green moss bound with cobweb and adorned with camouflaging lichen, and is lined with fur and plant down. It is situated in an upright or oblique fork, from 30cm to 6m above the ground, in deep undergrowth.
- Females do most or all of the nest building and incubate unaided, but both adults feed the nestlings.
- The most common call most closely resembles a snapping twig.