Story: Small forest birds

North and South Island robins

New Zealand robins (toutouwai) have large heads with big dark eyes, a white dot above the bill and long slender legs. The male North Island robin (top) is grey with an off-white patch on the belly. The female is slightly paler, with an off-white patch on her breast. The male South Island robin (bottom) is darker with a yellow-cream belly patch. The South Island female is lighter grey with a buff belly patch.

Listen to the call of a South Island robin.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10031744 (top); 10037628 (bottom)
Photographs by Ralph G. Powlesland (top); Peter Blok (bottom)

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Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (PO Box 152, Paraparaumu). All rights reserved.

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Small forest birds - Robins and tomtits', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 August 2022)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015