A sweet little robin will bring his beautiful colours and songs to your backyard, while also helping you out around the garden.
Male Scarlet Robins have an impressive bright red chest and a black back. Check out this video for a close-up look. The females are much less impressive in colour with a dull grey to brown coat but they are no less cute.
When they fluff themselves up, the Scarlet Robin looks very spherical and bright, much like a Christmas tree bauble. So during December why not encourage these buddies in to decorate your trees?
Found in south-eastern and south-western Australia, the Scarlet Robin is able to live in all sorts of habitats from open forests to grasslands. These buddies are the most common robin in our backyards as they seem to cope better in urban areas, like this one sitting on a fence. Because it is so small, the Scarlet Robin likes to live in areas with a thick undergrowth to hide in and to offer protection for its nest.
These beautiful birds form life-long bonds with their partners. They both have very specific roles in their relationship. The male Scarlet Robin is the main defender of their territory. He sings from high perches, letting other males know not to intrude on his turf. The male robin has a beautiful warbling trill ‘wee-cheedalee-dalee’ that you can hear in this video.
Their breeding season runs from July to January so now is the perfect time to see little baby robins and watch the funny territorial antics of the males. The male robin is so territorial, that you can often see him trying to chase away his own reflection in a rear-vision mirror!
The female Scarlet Robin is the handy one in the relationship who gets stuck into building the nest. She uses grass and twigs as the main building material and secures them with spider webs. Then she makes her little nest extra cosy by lining it with animal fur. Her finishing touch is making sure the nest is camouflaged by adding lichen and moss to the outside.
Mum robin will usually lay around three eggs which can make her small nest a little squishy. Mum will do the incubating of the eggs while dad feeds her. Once the babies have hatched, mum and dad take it in turns to feed them, even after they’ve left the nest.
In winter these robins mainly forage on the ground looking for insects to eat. Right now, during summer they move to the tree trunks and leaves to search for food. Thus they give you year-round insect removal from different parts of your garden. Their habit of foraging on the ground can make them vulnerable to being preyed on by cats so keep your pets inside as much as possible. Check out this site for more information.
To encourage these beautiful robins into your garden, plant a variety of different sized native shrubs to give these birds cover from predators while they forage. Bushy shrubs such as native rosemary or weeping wattle can also help cool down your garden and house during hot weather as well as cooling down little birds.
A well placed bird bath can offer some great scenes of fluffy little Scarlet Robins bathing while also giving them an important water source on hot summer days. To cat-proof your bird bath here are some helpful tips.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Noongar people of south-western Australia say that in the Dreaming Chitty-Chitty the Willie Wagtail and Karlimoot the Scarlet Robin were fighting over hunting rights when Chitty-Chitty hit Karlimoot in the face making his beak bleed and forever staining his chest red. To this day the wagtail still chases the robin from its territory and claims the best hunting grounds.