Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

North Island Robin

Scientific name:

 Petroica longpipes

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

Not threatened

Mainland status:

Widespread and locally common in central North Island


18cm, 35g


Around 3 Years (however, oldest recorded 16 yrs) 


July - December  


Mainly invertebrates, small fruits in season

First introduced to Tiri:


Population on Tiri:

Varies according to season, usually 100+

Total population:

Locally abundant

North Island Robin - photographer: Peter CrawThe North Island Robin is considered a separate species from the South Island and Stewart Island Robins. It is characterised by dark slate grey upper parts with an irregular shaped patch of white on its chest, long thin legs and an upright stance. The female is generally browner and lighter coloured than the male.

Robins are found mainly in mature native forests, common in beech or podocarp forest, and in manuka or kanuka scrub. They are territorial all year round but especially so in the breeding season. They usually mate with the same partner year after year.

Robins are extremely bold and fearless and will approach humans with curiosity. They feed on insects, grubs and worms on the forest floor and are often seen to tremble one leg to cause a vibration in the ground to induce prey to move. They can be enticed to approach closer by clearing a patch of leaf litter to expose potential food. 

North Island Robin - photographer: Peter Craw

The adult male has a loud and clear song consisting of a variety of simple notes strung together and often sustained for 30 minutes with short pauses. They also have a short 'chirp' contact call.

New Zealand robins, like their close relatives the Australian robins, were so-named because of superficial similarities to the European robin. As well as their endearing tendency to approach anyone likely to disturb invertebrates in the soil, their shape and stance resemble those of the European robin. They are not closely related, however, the European robin belonging to the thrush family.

You can find out lots more about the North Island robin at New Zealand Birds Online.


Photography by:  Peter Craw

eferences: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.