The first indication that a Pink Robin is nearby is often its characteristic call of tik, tik, tik. Because the robin often inhabits dense habitats, the calling bird may remain out of sight. They breed in dark, densely vegetated gullies in moist eucalypt forests or cool temperate rainforests, where they build their nests at the end of moss-covered branches of trees or shrubs. After breeding has finished, they move to drier, more open habitats, where they continue to inhabit dense shrubby undergrowth.
The Pink Robin is a small tubby bird and is easily overlooked, being quieter than other robins. Males are brownish-black above, with a black throat and head. There is a small white spot above the bill, which is a buff spot on the female. Males have a diagnostic pink wash on the breast which extends right down under the belly. Females are warm olive-brown above, with cinnamon-buff underparts with a pinkish tint. Females and young birds have diagnostic buff wing patches. This species has a plain dark tail, lacking the white edges of other Petroica robins.
Chattering short trill ‘chwit-tr-tr-tr-tr’, rather wren-like. Bird call recorded by: Ramit Singal
Pink Robins are endemic to (only found in) south-eastern Australia.
In the breeding season (September to March) Pink Robins are seen singly or in pairs in deep gullies in dense shrub layers of damp and wet forests or rainforests. In winter, they are found in more open and drier habitats.
Pink Robins are thought to be partly resident and partly dispersive. They breed throughout Tasmania, King and Flinders Islands, and the wetter parts of Victoria and far southeastern New South Wales. Some are thought to move after breeding to drier areas in southern New South Wales or even to move from Tasmania. This movement is mainly made by the brown-plumaged young birds. Males in Tasmania may remain near or in their breeding range. Birds are more obvious in the winter when they have moved to more open country. The Pink Robin has a chattering call, a short trill ‘chwit-tr-tr-tr-tr’, which is rather wren-like.
The Pink Robin is an active feeder, darting out from a perch to snatch at insects, then returning to another perch. It usually takes prey on the ground or from low bushes.
Pink Robins breed in moist rainforest and may nest twice each season. The nest is a deep cup of green moss, bound with spider webs, lined with fine soft grass, fern or fur. The nest is placed in a mossy or lichen-covered fork of a tree or shrub. The female incubates and broods the young while she is fed by the male.