Scarlet Robin in the Mt Lofty Ranges

Male Scarlet Robin

Male Scarlet Robin

Last night a local television channel (ABCTV1) showed a special item on the endangered Scarlet Robin in the Mt Lofty Ranges here in South Australia. I can recall only ever seeing this Robin once in the Adelaide Hills. The photo above does not do the species justice; it is a beautiful bird. It is not at all common here in in our state.

The main thrust if the short documentary was to highlight the plight of this lovely bird, and many other species of small bush birds. With the massive clearances made over the last 150 years for agriculture there is little room left for this little bird, and many others like it. One of the speakers claimed that only 7% of original bushland was still available for such birds as the Scarlet Robin. It is facing extinction in this part of  Australia.

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10 Responses to “Scarlet Robin in the Mt Lofty Ranges”

  1. Alan says:

    Fortunately still common around here. For how much longer, who can tell?

  2. Trevor says:

    Let’s hope they hang on forever – such a beautiful bird.

  3. kasia says:

    Still a sweet photo though Trevor, and I managed to
    catch Stateline last night too.
    I’ve spotted the Scarlet Robin only rarely down
    here in the South East, maybe twice in the last 15 to 20 years. However I haven’t been looking very hard but will
    make an effort to go for walks in the scrub more often.

  4. Trevor says:

    Where in the SE are you?

    Our daughter used to teach at Lucindale and I found some great birding spots around there. I’ve just checked my database: I recorded it at Pritchards on the Glenelg River, in Big Heath CP and near the farm house she rented (“Stoneleigh”) 7km north of Lucindale.

  5. kasia says:

    Naracoorte, not far from Lucindale at all… did you visit
    the caves and Bool Lagoon while you were down this way?
    Both spots are wonderful for bird spotting, although Bool
    Lagoon hasn’t been full for years which is bad in
    some ways and good in others…..the bad speaks
    for itself but the good is there is NO duck shooting allowed there anymore…well not until we get some
    good rains again, whenever that will be who knows.
    Then the slaughter will start all over again…unless
    the powers that be decide to ban it forever.
    Duck shooting at a bird sanctuary!!!! Where is the sense
    in that…how hypocritical can ya get!

  6. Trevor says:

    Yes – I did try Bool Lagoon a few times but was disappointed with the lack of water – this was back in the late 1990s.

    Interestingly, I watched Landline on ABC TV today – hardly ever watch that programme. It has a long item about the Field and Game Hunters group in Victoria (I think they said they are an Australia wide group). Malcolm Fraser was interviewed as their patron.

    They claim to have maintained many wetlands as bird sanctuaries in Victoria that would otherwise have been drained back in the 1950s and 1960s. They see their efforts as being far more effective than most conservation groups. Then they go and shoot the wild fowl. Seems a strange attitude to me. You save something so you can shoot it???

    I prefer to do my shooting with my camera – and let the bird live so someone else can enjoy it too.

    And before anyone jumps down my throat – I do my bit for conservation and the environment. This blog is partially educational helping people get a better understanding of the bird life of Australia. I also help my wife and her native plant nursery – she grows several thousand plants annually and has done so for over a decade.

  7. What a great and distinctive looking bird, hope if holds on for a long time to come…

  8. veronika says:

    Hi there.

    I am an artist working on a project based around the robin and am trying to find audio of its call. Any ideas?

  9. Trevor says:

    Hi there Veronika,

    Thanks for visiting my site about Australian birds.

    The site called Birds in Backyards has MP3 recordings of many Australian birds, including most of our robins:

    I know that many of our bird calls have been recorded but I’m not sure where you can obtain these. Most major zoos and botanic gardens have extensive shops selling related items like CDs of bird calls. It’s worth contacting one near where you live.

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