North Island robin

The North Island robin (Petroica longipes) is a species of Australasian robin endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. It and the South Island robin (P. australis) of the South Island and Stewart Island were once considered conspecific (and called the "New Zealand robin"), but mitochondrial DNA sequences have shown that the two lineages split prior to the Pleistocene and support the classification as two different species.[2]

North Island robin
North Island Robin-edit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Petroicidae
Genus: Petroica
P. longipes
Binomial name
Petroica longipes
Garnot, 1827


Juvenile NZ Robin
Juvenile begging for food

The plumage is dark grey-black overall with a pale area on the belly and breast (which is smaller than that of the South Island robin) and pale streaking on the upperparts. They are sexually dimorphic, with males having darker plumage than the females and being slightly larger.[3]

Distribution and habitat

The North Island robin is distributed mostly in the centre of North Island, with small relict populations in the north and south in Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands, Little Barrier Island and Kapiti Island.[4] Populations have been reestablished in Zealandia sanctuary in Wellington and Moehau in the Coromandel Peninsula.[5][6] A remnant population is also re-establishing itself in the Ohope Scenic Reserve near Whakatane; 40 birds were translocated to the reserve from Mokoia Island to assist the population there.[7]

Their natural habitat is mostly natural forest, particularly Podocarpus and southern beech (Nothofagaceae) forests, from sea level up to the tree line.


North Island Robin with weta
this robin has caught a tree weta


NZ North Island Robin-3
Standing perfectly still on a perch awaiting prey

The North Island robin, like the South Island robin, is a terrestrial feeder foraging on or near the ground (unlike the related and more arboreal tomtit). Prey items are located by perch-hunting, where an individual waits at an elevated perch until prey is spotted, or by active searching; prey is taken from the leaf-litter, low vegetation (branches and foliage) and tree trunks. Numerous invertebrate prey is taken, including cicadas, earthworms, wetas, snails, and spiders. Fruit is also taken.[4] North Island robins cache food supplies for later when prey is plentiful, although males cache more food than females do.[8] Both sexes will steal food from their mate's cache, and are less likely to cache food if their mate is present.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Petroica longipes". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T103735022A104114188. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T103735022A104114188.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Miller, Hilary C. & Lambert, David M. (2006): A molecular phylogeny of New Zealand's Petroica (Aves: Petroicidae) species based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40(3): 844–855.
  3. ^ Armstrong, D (2001) "Sexing North Island robins (Petroica australis longipes) from morphometrics and plumage" Notornis 48: 76–80
  4. ^ a b Higgins, P.J. & J.M. Peter (eds) 2003. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 6: Pardalotes to Shrike-thrushes. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553762-9
  5. ^ "North Island robin". Zealandia. Karori Sanctuary Trust. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. ^ Department of Conservation (2006) Wildlife welcome robin onto Moehau in the northern Coromandel. Retrieved 21 November 2013
  7. ^ "Mokoia's robins successfully breeding in Ōhope". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  8. ^ Burns, K.C. & Steer J (2006) "Dominance rank influences food hoarding in New Zealand Robins Petroica australis" Ibis 148: 266–272

Amalocichla is a genus of bird in the Petroicidae family that are found in New Guinea.

Chatham tomtit

The Chatham tomtit (Petroica macrocephala chathamensis) is a subspecies of tomtit found on some of the smaller islands of New Zealand.

It is most similar in plumage to the South Island tomtit, the nominate subspecies. The New Zealand government is implementing a plan to help this species and other bird species recover. The holotype is in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Garnet robin

The garnet robin (Eugerygone rubra) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae. It is monotypic within the genus Eugerygone. It is found in New Guinea, where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Golden-bellied flyrobin

The golden-bellied flyrobin (Microeca hemixantha) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

It is native to the Tanimbar Islands.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical mangrove forest.

It is threatened by habitat loss.

Greater ground robin

The greater ground robin (Amalocichla sclateriana) is a species of bird in the Petroicidae family. It is found in New Guinea.

Green-backed robin

The green-backed robin (Pachycephalopsis hattamensis) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

It is found in New Guinea.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

Lesser ground robin

The lesser ground robin (Amalocichla incerta) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

It is found in New Guinea.


Melanodryas is a genus of passerine birds in the Australasian robin family Petroicidae.

The genus was introduced by the English ornithologist and bird artist John Gould in 1865 with the hooded robin (Melanodryas cucullata) as the type species. The genus name combines the Ancient Greek melanos "black" with dryad "tree-nymph".The genus contains two species:

Hooded robin (Melanodryas cucullata)

Dusky robin (Melanodryas vittata)

New Zealand robin

New Zealand robin has been split into the following species:

North Island robin, Petroica longipes

South Island robin, Petroica australis


Pachycephalopsis is a genus of birds in the Australasian robin family Petroicidae that are found in New Guinea.


Petroica is a genus of Australasian robins, named due to their red and pink markings. They are not closely related to the European robin nor the American robin.

The genus was introduced by the English naturalist William John Swainson in 1829 with the Norfolk robin (Petroica multicolor) as the type species. The generic name combines the Ancient Greek petro- "rock" with oikos "home".Many species in Australia have a red breast and are known colloquially as "red robins" as distinct from the "yellow robins" of the genus Eopsaltria.

Redwoods Forest, Whakarewarewa

Redwoods Forest is a forest of naturalised coastal redwood on the outskirts of Rotorua, New Zealand, adjacent to the Whakarewarewa thermal area. The 6 hectares (15 acres) stand of Californian Redwoods is part of the larger Whakarewarewa State Forest.

The trees were planted at the beginning of the 20th century as part of a programme to assess the viability of various exotic tree species for commercial forestry in New Zealand.

Subsequently these trees have grown faster than in their native homeland due to the richer soil and higher rainfall in the area, reaching over 70 metres (230 ft) height only 100 years later.

The area, also referred to as "Redwood Memorial Grove", is now protected and has become popular for recreational use, containing mountain bike tracks and the Redwoods Treewalk canopy walkway suspended between the trunks of the redwood trees. Above the walkway, wooden lantern sculptures are also suspended between the tall tree trunks. At night time, these are lit up, and coloured spot lights illuminate some of the forest floor vegetation and tree ferns. The forest is also home to endangered species of birds such as the New Zealand Falcon, North Island Robin and occasionally Whitehead (bird)

Snow Mountains robin

The Snow Mountains robin (Petroica archboldi), also known as the Snow Mountain robin, is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae. It is endemic to West Papua, Indonesia.

South Island robin

The South Island robin (Petroica australis), is a sparrow-sized bird found only in New Zealand, where it has the status of a protected endemic species. The birds are sparsely distributed through the South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura, although the distribution is not continuous. The nominate, and the Stewart Island robin (P. australis rakiura) are the two subspecies. The species is closely related to the North Island robin (formerly P. australis longipes, now considered a distinct species), and also to the extremely rare black robin (P. traversi) of the Chatham Islands.


The tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) is a small passerine bird in the family Petroicidae, the Australian robins. It is endemic to the islands of New Zealand, ranging across the main islands as well as several of the outlying islands. It has several other English names as well. There are several sub-species showing considerable variation in plumage and size. The species is not threatened and has adapted to the changes made to New Zealand's biodiversity.


Tregellasia is a genus of birds in the Petroicidae family that are found in Australia and New Guinea.

The genus was introduced by the Australian ornithologist Gregory Mathews in 1912 with the pale-yellow robin (Tregellasia capito) as the type species. The genus name was chosen to honour the Australian field ornithologist Thomas Henry Tregellas (1864-1938).

White-eyed robin

The white-eyed robin (Pachycephalopsis poliosoma) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

White-faced robin

The white-faced robin (Tregellasia leucops) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

It is found in New Guinea and eastern Cape York Peninsula.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

Petroicidae (Australasian robins)
endemic birds


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