Australasian Robins >

The Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) is native to Australia and not to be confused with other ‘red’ robins such as the Flame (P. phoenicea) and the Scarlet Robin (P. goodenovii). Unlike these other robins, the male Red-capped Robin has a distinctive red cap and red breast. The upperpart of the body is black and it has black tail with white tips.

The Red-capped Robin, like many from the family Petroicidae, are sexually dimorphic – the male and female of the species are different in the colour of their plumage. It is the male that have the brightly coloured plumage.

The female Red-capped Robin are quite different in appearance, being a grey-brown above and off-white below, with a reddish cap, brown-black wings barred buff to white. Some may have a hint of red on the breast. The young birds are similar to females but are streaked white above, have an pale buff wing bar, their breast and sides being streaked or mottled dark-brown.

The nest site is often built in a tree-fork. It is an open, cup-shaped nest of bark, grass, and small roots, that are often bound together with spider web, lined with soft materials and often camoflaged with lichen, bark and mosses.

These robins are found in the more arid regions across Australia, inhabiting scrublands, dry open desert woodlands, mallee and mulga country. They rarely stay put for long, always perching on a vantage point, keeping an eye out for prey. They often flick their wings and tail feathers whilst hunting chasing insects.

Common name
In addition to Red-capped Robin, other common names include redcap, redhead, robin red-breast, red-throated robin.

Images © Dorothy L


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Petroicidae
  • Genus: Petroica
  • Species: P. goodenovii
  • Binomial name: Petroica goodenovii

Footnote & References

  1. Red-capped Robin, Birdlife Australia, https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/red-capped-robin
  2. Red-capped Robin, eBird, https://ebird.org/species/recrob1
  3. Red-capped Robin, Bill Belson – Photography, https://www.billbelson.com.au/red-cappedrobin
  4. Djididjidi and Kuburi, Gadi Mirrabooka, Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming, https://www.gadimirrabooka.com/aboriginal-stories/23-33/djididjidi-and-kuburi
  5. Red-capped robin, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-capped_robin (last visited Apr. 17, 2021).