Nature conservation

Threatened species

Scarlet Robin - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Petroica boodang
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 12 Feb 2010
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Scarlet Robin is a small Australian robin that reaches 13 cm in length. The male has a black head and upperparts, with a conspicuous white forehead patch, white wing stripes and white tail-edges. The male has a bright scarlet-red chest and a white belly. The female is pale brown, darker above, and has a dull reddish breast and whitish throat. The whitish mark on the female’s forehead is smaller than the male’s. The female Scarlet Robin also has white wing and tail markings. Immature males resemble females. The main call of Scarlet Robin is a soft, warbling trill.


The Scarlet Robin is found from south east Queensland to south east South Australia and also in Tasmania and south west Western Australia. In NSW, it occurs from the coast to the inland slopes. After breeding, some Scarlet Robins disperse to the lower valleys and plains of the tablelands and slopes. Some birds may appear as far west as the eastern edges of the inland plains in autumn and winter.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Scarlet Robin lives in dry eucalypt forests and woodlands. The understorey is usually open and grassy with few scattered shrubs.
  • This species lives in both mature and regrowth vegetation. It occasionally occurs in mallee or wet forest communities, or in wetlands and tea-tree swamps.
  • Scarlet Robin habitat usually contains abundant logs and fallen timber: these are important components of its habitat.
  • The Scarlet Robin breeds on ridges, hills and foothills of the western slopes, the Great Dividing Range and eastern coastal regions; this species is occasionally found up to 1000 metres in altitude.
  • The Scarlet Robin is primarily a resident in forests and woodlands, but some adults and young birds disperse to more open habitats after breeding.
  • In autumn and winter many Scarlet Robins live in open grassy woodlands, and grasslands or grazed paddocks with scattered trees.
  • The Scarlet Robin is a quiet and unobtrusive species which is often quite tame and easily approached.
  • Birds forage from low perches, fence-posts or on the ground, from where they pounce on small insects and other invertebrates which are taken from the ground, or off tree trunks and logs; they sometimes forage in the shrub or canopy layer.
  • Scarlet Robin pairs defend a breeding territory and mainly breed between the months of July and January; they may raise two or three broods in each season.
  • This species’ nest is an open cup made of plant fibres and cobwebs and is built in the fork of tree usually more than 2 metres above the ground; nests are often found in a dead branch in a live tree, or in a dead tree or shrub.
  • Eggs are pale greenish-, bluish- or brownish-white, spotted with brown; clutch size ranges from one to four.
  • Birds usually occur singly or in pairs, occasionally in small family parties; pairs stay together year-round.
  • In autumn and winter, the Scarlet Robin joins mixed flocks of other small insectivorous birds which forage through dry forests and woodlands.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthNarrandool Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Known
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known East of Warren
NandewarInverell Basalts Predicted None
NandewarKaputar Known None
NandewarNandewar Northern Complex Predicted None
New England TablelandsBeardy River Hills Known None
New England TablelandsBinghi Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsDeepwater Downs Known None
New England TablelandsEbor Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsMoredun Volcanics Known None
New England TablelandsNightcap Known None
New England TablelandsNortheast Forest Lands Known None
New England TablelandsRound Mountain Known None
New England TablelandsSevern River Volcanics Known None
New England TablelandsStanthorpe Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTenterfield Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTingha Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastBarrington Known None
NSW North CoastCarrai Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastCataract Known None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastComboyne Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Known None
NSW North CoastEllerston Known None
NSW North CoastGuy Fawkes Known None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Gorges Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastMummel Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastRocky River Gorge Known None
NSW North CoastTomalla Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Manning Known None
NSW North CoastWashpool Known
NSW North CoastYuraygir Predicted
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None