Nature conservation

Threatened species

Flame Robin - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Petroica phoenicea
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 12 Feb 2010
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Flame Robin is a small Australian robin that reaches 14 cm in length. The male has a dark grey head and upperparts, a small white forehead patch, and white wing stripes and white tail-edges. The male has a bright orange-red throat, breast and upper-belly. The lower belly is white. The female is brown, darker above, and has a whitish throat and lower belly. The whitish mark on the female’s forehead is inconspicuous. Female Flame Robins also have white and buffish marked wings and tail. Immature males resemble females. The main call of the Flame Robin is a thin, pretty, piping descending song.


The Flame Robin is endemic to south eastern Australia, and ranges from near the Queensland border to south east South Australia and also in Tasmania. In NSW, it breeds in upland areas and in winter, many birds move to the inland slopes and plains. It is likely that there are two separate populations in NSW, one in the Northern Tablelands, and another ranging from the Central to Southern Tablelands.

Habitat and ecology

  • Breeds in upland tall moist eucalypt forests and woodlands, often on ridges and slopes.
  • Prefers clearings or areas with open understoreys.
  • The groundlayer of the breeding habitat is dominated by native grasses and the shrub layer may be either sparse or dense.
  • Occasionally occurs in temperate rainforest, and also in herbfields, heathlands, shrublands and sedgelands at high altitudes.
  • In winter, birds migrate to drier more open habitats in the lowlands (i.e. valleys below the ranges, and to the western slopes and plains).
  • Often occurs in recently burnt areas; however, habitat becomes unsuitable as vegetation closes up following regeneration.
  • In winter lives in dry forests, open woodlands and in pastures and native grasslands, with or without scattered trees.
  • In winter, occasionally seen in heathland or other shrublands in coastal areas.
  • Birds forage from low perches, from which they sally or pounce onto small invertebrates which they take from the ground or off tree trunks, logs and other coarse woody debris.
  • Flying insects are often taken in the air and sometimes gleans for invertebrates from foliage and bark.
  • In their autumn and winter habitats, birds often sally from fence-posts or thistles and other prominent perches in open habitats.
  • Occur singly, in pairs, or in flocks of up to 40 birds or more; in the non-breeding season they will join up with other insectivorous birds in mixed feeding flocks.
  • Breeds in spring to late summer.
  • Nests are often near the ground and are built in sheltered sites, such as shallow cavities in trees, stumps or banks.
  • Builds an open cup nest made of plant materials and spider webs.
  • Eggs are oval in shape and are pale bluish- or greenish-white and marked with brownish blotches; clutch size is three or four eggs.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
NandewarKaputar Known None
NandewarNandewar Northern Complex Predicted None
NandewarPeel Known None
New England TablelandsArmidale Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsBinghi Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsBundarra Downs Known None
New England TablelandsDeepwater Downs Predicted None
New England TablelandsEastern Nandewars Known None
New England TablelandsEbor Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsMoredun Volcanics Predicted None
New England TablelandsNightcap Known None
New England TablelandsNortheast Forest Lands Known None
New England TablelandsRound Mountain Known None
New England TablelandsStanthorpe Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTenterfield Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTingha Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsYarrowyck-Kentucky Downs Known None
NSW North CoastBarrington Known None
NSW North CoastCarrai Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastCataract Predicted None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastComboyne Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Known None
NSW North CoastEllerston Known None
NSW North CoastGuy Fawkes Predicted None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Gorges Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastMummel Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastRocky River Gorge Known None
NSW North CoastTomalla Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Manning Known None
NSW North CoastWashpool Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
OceanManning Shelf Known None
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Predicted None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None