Among Australian robins, the Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) is the most widespread. The Robins of the Cape York Peninsula and Tasmania are sedentary in the lightly wooded areas of the continent. After breeding, established pairs stay within their 10 to 20-hectare territories year-round, do not flock, and form family groups for only a few days. The solitary wanderers are mostly young and dispersed for the winter.
There is usually a quiet and shy nature to the Hooded Robin. Usually perching on low, dead stumps, it hunts by perching and pouncing, often sitting hunched and still for long periods of time as it searches for insects on the ground. Dead trees and fallen timbers are frequent places where they can be found.
There is a rapid undulation in its flight. During breeding, male Hooded Robins sing regularly in a pre-dawn chorus, advertising territories. Feathered displays of injury-feigning are displayed by both sexes to defend their nests. The bird is also known as Pied Robin and Black Robin.
Male and Female Hooded Robin
Male and Female Hooded Robin. Source
In terms of length, Hooded Robins are 140-170mm long. The upper part of the bird, the wings, and the tail of the male are black; the shoulder sashes of the male are white; the leading edge of secondary flight feathers are white from the base of the primary feathers to the tip of; the outer tail feathers are white from the first third to the second third. The throat and upper breast are black; the rest of the underside is white-washed grey. The eyes are dark brown in color. The feet and bill are black.
Female: Upper parts fawn to dark grey; wings and tail brown with white markings. On the underparts, the color is pure to off-white, while on the breast, it is greyer. A mature female resembles an adult female, but the white markings on the wings and tail are less distinct. The upper breast of young breeding males may be mottled dusky and white and darker gray or black above. A juvenile has coarse brown-grey and white markings, with a light grey streak down its belly.
Soft piping or churring is the call of Hooded Robins. The male Hooded Robin song consists of penetrating whistling and higher chattering notes. Breeding and nesting take place mainly between July and December. The nest is composed of bark strips, grass, and fiber bound with cobwebs; 53 x 35 mm inside, lined with fine fiber and down; located in tree forks, crevices, or hollows, 0.5-4 meters above the ground.
The hooded robin lays two eggs, which are olive-to-blue-green, clouded red-brown to olive at the larger end. They are oval and about 21×16 mm in size. It takes about 14 days for a female to incubate.
In its natural habitat, it occurs in Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation across the Australian continent, except in Cape York and Tasmania. The Hooded Robin is mainly found in lightly wooded areas. By nature, robins are widespread, solitary, or in pairs. There are no races.
Related Reading: The Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)
During breeding, male Hooded Robins sing regularly in a pre-dawn chorus, advertising territories.
During breeding, male Hooded Robins sing regularly in a pre-dawn chorus, advertising territories. Photo Credit – I Am birdsaspoetry


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