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Flame Robin

Petroica phoenicea

Description

Male Flame Robins have a bright orange breast and throat, and are white on the lower belly and undertail. The top of their head and back is dark slate grey and there is a clear white stripe on the folded wing. The bill is black and the legs dark brown. The female is quite different from the male, being mostly grey-brown with a pale buff wing stripe, and a mostly white outer tail feather. The birds measure 12.5 to 14 cm long. Flame Robins have an attractive song. The high-pitched musical trill has three sets of three notes, which have been interpreted as "you may come if you wish to the sea".

Young Flame Robins resemble the adult female, but the brown of the back is heavily streaked with buff and the pale belly is streaked with brown.

The male Flame Robin may be confused with the male Scarlet Robin, P. multicolor. This species is black above and on the head, extending to the throat, with a scarlet breast and upper belly. Female and young Flame Robins can easily be confused with those of several other robin species. The main difference is that the outermost tail feather is white, and the next one has only a white edging. The Red-capped Robin, P.goodenovii is not found in Tasmania.