traversi (aka Chatham Island Robin)
As its name suggests, this bird
has pure black plumage, a black bill, and
brownish-black yellow-soled feet. It is about 6
inches long and weighs less than an ounce;
females tend to be smaller than males.
Black robins are only found on
Mangere and Rangatira, two of the Chatham Islands
(off the east coast of New Zealand). They
live in woody vegetation, under the canopy of
trees, and prefer flat areas of the forest with
deep litter layers.
Black robins mate for life. Eggs
are laid in a hollow tree or tree stump between
early October and late December. A second clutch
may be laid if the first is unsuccessful.
Generally two eggs are laid, but it is sometimes
just one, or maybe three. Eggs are creamy in
color with purple splotches. The eggs are
incubated by the for about 18 days, during which
time the male brings her food and aggressively
defends both his mate and the nest. Both parents
participate in feeding the chicks, which will
stay in the nest for about 23 days. The parents
will continue to feed and protect the chicks for
another 30 days. Black robins have an everage
life expectancy of about 4 years in the wild.
Black robins feed on a wide range of insects
and worms. They hunt for food during the day and
Male songs are a simple phrase of 5 to 7
notes. Its call is a high pitched single note.
Black robins are territorial. Males will
patrol and defend their areas, and females have
been known to chase away other females.
Poor fliers, black robins make short flights
from branch to branch but do not fly long
Once fairly widespread throughout all of the
Chatham Islands, black robin numbers began
declining after humans, along with their pets and
pests, began moving onto the islands. By 1980
there were only five black robins in the world,
with just a single breeding pair left. The
survival of the species hinged on that last
pair. A desperate and innovative management
regime was quickly put into action that resulted
in a successful population turnaround. As of
early 2014, the population stands at around 250,
all of whom are descended from the last surviving
wild breeding pair. Although the black robin's
population is currently stable, it is still
considered endangered due to its severely
restricted range and limited genetic diversity.
genus & species Petroica traversi
Questions or comments about