Dusky Robin

Did you know?

The Dusky Robin may sometimes breed co-operatively, with non-parent birds helping in the rearing of chicks.

Far-carrying 'choo-wee, choo-we-er', repeated.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Maximum Size: 
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Breeding season: 
August to December
Clutch Size: 
3 to 4
15 days
Nestling Period: 
14 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Dusky Robin is an olive-brown bird, with an indistinct white wing-bar. The underbody is mostly light grey-brown. There is a slight dark eyeline and a whitish mark at the bend of the wing. It has a short, slender bill and moderately long, square-shaped tail. Juveniles are darker brown above, streaked paler above, and mottled below. Dusky Robins are usually seen as singles or pairs, but do come together in small winter flocks.

Similar species: 

Dusky Robins may resemble female red robins (Petroica species), but these are generally smaller.

Where does it live?

The Dusky Robin is found in Tasmania and on the Bass Strait islands.


The Dusky Robin occurs mostly in open habitats from sea level to 1200 m, usually in dry sclerophyll forest. It favours ecotones (the edge zones) between forests and clearings. Territories tend to occupy areas with greatest shrub cover. The Dusky Robin is found in newly cleared areas, regrowth and recently burnt areas. They are occasionally recorded in wet sclerophyll forest and sometimes in coastal heathland or sedgeland or on button grass plains.

Seasonal movements: 

The Dusky Robin is sedentary or resident, but movements are poorly known.

What does it do?

The Dusky Robin feeds on invertebrates, mainly insects, and occasionally seeds. It feeds on the ground or in trees. It typically sits on stumps or posts and darts to ground for prey, but occasionally hops along the ground or forages among foliage or in the air. In recently burnt areas, it often forages on the ground with Flame Robinsand Scarlet Robins.


The breeding behaviour of the Dusky Robin is not well known and there are no studies. The nest is an untidy cup of grass, bark and rootlets, lined with hair and/or wool, and is placed in the cavity of a stump, bole of eucalypt, tree fork or crevice in bark, up to 6 metres high. The female incubates the eggs.

Living with us

Dusky Robins are often preyed on by cats. They may very occasionally become trapped in the wall cavities of buildings.

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