Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

The eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) is a small insectivorous bird found common in woodlands along the southern east coast of Australia. These small birds are voracious insect predators and display high attentiveness when hunting. They are often easy to spot as they use a particular technique when hunting, where they sit and perch vertically a meter of two on a shrub and wait for a minute, then with a sudden burst of energy, they dive down and capture an insect in the leaf litter.

I have had experiences working in Western Sydney Parklands where they will bravely dive bomb between my legs if it means catching that insect!

 

Eopsaltria australis

Swooping down to catch an insect | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Swooping down to catch an insect | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Perched, awaiting an insect | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Perched, awaiting an insect | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

 

The eastern yellow robin has been implicated with gradual decline with increasing land clearance, they are still found in any healthy thick bush areas, however studies have indicated that there range is constricting in the north. They are decreasing in numbers in the northern end of their distribution which is currently around Armidale, where up there, they are considered rare.

 

Release of an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) during a uni field trip at Stroud | Copyright Chad Beranek (2012)

Release of an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) during a uni field trip at Stroud | Copyright Chad Beranek (2012)

 

Like many of the smaller birds (such as fairy wrens and willie wag tails), the eastern yellow robin is often eliminated from urban areas due to the disturbance and clearance of forest. These smaller birds depend on dense woodland with a thick shrub layer. When a bush becomes to degraded and has the shrub layer removed, these small birds get bullied and harassed by birds which are adapted living in open woodland areas which have a minimal shrub layer (such as the aggressive noisy miners).

To ensure the smaller birds can still manage in urban areas of Sydney, try planting a nice thick shrub plant. Plants such as Hakea sp. and Busaria spinosa are optimal shrub plants for small birds and offer them good opportunities for nesting sites and protection. A bird bath placed next to a shrub and they are surely to move in if they are in the area!