A Yellow Affair (Eastern Yellow Robins)


A Yellow Affair (Eastern Yellow Robins) Original Acrylic on Clayboard 31cm x 23cm

Inspiration: The Upper Allyn River supplies we with many opportunities to collect reference of these beautiful robins. Once you get familiar with their habits and what they like to eat you can get very close to them. A few birds gathering together like this painting portrays is a very common sight.

The Eastern Yellow Robin is a medium sized robin. It has a grey back and head, and yellow underparts. Southern birds have an olive-yellow rump, while in northern birds it is brighter yellow. The throat is off-white and, in flight, there is a pale off-white wing bar. The bill is black. Both sexes are similar in plumage colour and pattern, but the female is slightly smaller. Young Eastern Yellow Robins are rufous-brown. The plumage has some paler streaks, which are confined to the wings when the birds are a little older.

Eastern Yellow Robins are found throughout the east coast, southeast Australia from Queensland to Victoria.  Here they live in the scrubby covers of forests and woodlands.  Perching sideways on a low vertical branches and saplings is characteristic of yellow robins.  They remain still or drop to the ground to pick up an insect, sometimes eating it there, and then rising again to a vantage point. Their diet consists of mainly ground insects, especially ants and spiders, other ground insects including moth larvae, beetles, small cockroaches and wasps. Breeding pairs hold small-restricted territory but may have one or more additional helpers at the nest, probably previous young.  The Eastern Yellow Robin usually builds its nest in a fork of either a standing or fallen tree, particularly a young tree with strips of bark hanging from the branches.  Using cobwebs, the bird attaches similar bark strips, about 110 mm long, to the rim; the result is a masterpiece of camouflage.  The female does the incubating and brooding and the male feeds her and both birds feed the young.  A parent bird often feigns a broken wing when an intruder approaches it nesting site.  It ruffles up its feathers and appears to make painful progress along the ground, with one wing trailing.

Original artwork by James Hough.

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