Last updated on 1-Nov 2017
The Pale-yellow Robin occurs in two widely-separated populations, one in the Wet Tropics region of north-eastern Queensland, and one along Australia’s east coast, from south-eastern Queensland to the mid-north coast of NSW. They inhabit rainforests and moist eucalypt forests and are often seen along tracks and clearings at the margins of these forests. Their neat cup-shaped nests are usually built along creek lines, often in vines, and while the female incubates the eggs, the male regularly feeds her small invertebrates taken from the forest floor.
The adult Pale-yellow Robin is a small bird, grey-olive above, yellow below, with white or orange sides to the forehead. It has yellowish legs and a short and rather broad bill. The juveniles are red-brown above, pale below and have white streaks. These robins are usually seen in pairs or singly and are quiet and unobtrusive birds.
Quieter than the Eastern Yellow Robin. Repeated squeaks, ‘seee-seee-seee-seee-seee-seee’. Bird call recorded by: Fred Van Gessel
The Pale-yellow Robin is endemic to Australia. It has two disjunct (separate) populations on the east coast, both on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. The first population occurs in New South Wales, from the upper Hunter (Dungog) to just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The second population occurs from Townsville to near Cooktown in northern Queensland.
The Pale-yellow Robin is found in moist eucalypt forests, and subtropical and tropical rainforests with dense vegetation, such as vine thickets.
The Pale-yellow Robin can be found in groups of one dominant male, one or two females and one to two subordinate males, which may be related to the adults. These subordinate males help bring food to the young and breeding females and help to defend the group’s territory.
The Pale-yellow Robin feeds mainly on insects, and sometimes seeds. This species forages on the ground to the middle levels of the forest. They forage among foliage or on the ground, mainly pouncing on prey on the ground or from perches.
The Pale-yellow Robin builds a cup-shaped nest from grass, rootlets and spiders’ web, decorated with moss, bark, lichen and leaves. The nests are usually found one to six metres above the ground in the fork of a shrub or vine in dense vegetation. The eggs are incubated by the female. The male brings food back to the female on the nest. The young are fed by both parents and additional helpers (usually males), if available. If a predator approaches the nest, the parent can distract the predator by faking an injury and drawing the predator away from the nest.