Taranaki Mounga released 50 toutouwai/robin back to Mt Taranaki in April 2017 so their song will once again be heard in the national park. Since this release another 45 were released in May 2018. Subsequent monitoring has indicated that these birds are breeding.
A friendly and trusting bird, its habit of nesting close to the ground and in crevices or niches makes it vulnerable to predators. Intensive predator control in the release area allows us to feel confident the birds will have every chance of thriving.
You may first become aware of the presence of robin from the loud, strident territory song heard for much of the year. Males, and in particular bachelors, can be very vocal. Taranaki Mounga is keen to hear of any sightings of toutouwai in the national park so we can better protect the birds – follow this link to find out how.
The North Island robin is slightly larger than a house sparrow, with long thin legs and an upright stance. Its’ diet consists mainly of invertebrates, including species from the size of aphids to those as large as an adult tree weta, stick insect, or earthworm. Items too large to swallow whole are taken to the ground and flung from side to side against the ground or log until broken into pieces.
Robins are relatively long lived, surviving as long as 16 years where few or no introduced predators are around. The breeding season begins in September and extends to February. At sites where food is readily available, pairs rear two, and occasionally three, broods in a season.
Did you know…….
- Robins use techniques like foot trembling, wing-flicking and tail-flicking to attract their prey
- Robins have a patch of white feathers above their beak that they keep hidden most of the time – they can flash this little white patch when interacting with other birds
- The oldest known robin lived 16 years, but their life expectancy is three years