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.

About this item

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

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

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

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Small forest birds - Robins and tomtits', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/natural-sounds/12482/north-and-south-island-robins (accessed 23 June 2017)

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