Grayheaded robin

Heteromyias albispecularis

SUBFAMILY

Petroicinae

TAXONOMY

Pachycephala albispecularis Salvadori, 1876, New Guinea. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Ashy robin, black-cheeked robin; French: Miro cendré German: Farnschnäpper; Spanish: Tordo Australiano Terrestre.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6-8 in (15-20 cm); 1.1-1.4 oz (31-40 g). Gray crown with medium-brown upperparts, dark brown wings with white-tipped secondary coverts, and grayish white underparts.

DISTRIBUTION

Northeastern Queensland, Australia, and mountains of New Guinea. Three subspecies in New Guinea and a well-defined one in Australia.

HABITAT

Rainforest, 2,500-8,000 ft (850-2,600 m) elevation in New Guinea, 800 ft (250 m) and up in Queensland.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial and sedentary. Perches low on trunks and vertical saplings; often jerks tail up and down. Breeding females have a wing-flutter display. Song is a series of piping whistles, as well as harsh alarm calls.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Pounces onto insects and their larvae, centipedes, earthworms, and leeches.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeding season is from August to January. Nest is an untidy cup, made of rootlets, tendrils, and twigs and covered with moss on the outside; nest is placed in climbing palms or sapling branches. Female builds nest, incubates eggs, and broods and feeds young, but she is fed by the male. Clutch comprised of one or two eggs, incubated for 17-19 days. Young fledge at 12-13 days. Young fledged from 53% of nests in one Queensland study.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

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