Territorial Disputes

Out in the forest this morning and came across a mixed flock of wagtails, thornbills and a number of redcapped robins.

First time I have been able to locate them all together since the nesting season.  Two males were particularly interesting as one smaller one, seemed to want to try its luck on the larger (older) bird.  Where they were was sort of at what I think is the border of two territories. And while it is hard to tell who is who, I suspect that the larger bird is the male of the territory.  He was in the company of the only female present  a bit earlier.

There is an excellent series of article on the net. Papers by Damien K. Dowling, of Melbourne University. And in the paper “Breeding biology of the red-capped robin”, AJZ 2003,51,533-549  he describes the behaviour of males in territorial conflict. His work was done around Mt Terrick Terrick Park, and is a great read on details of nesting and behaviour and success rates.

Today’s males preformed lots of dancing back and forward on a branch, it looks a bit like it is choreographed, and they seem to know their parts well.  In the end, one did the fly away, by slow retreat and in the eventually I lost sight of it completely. Hopefully it will find a reasonable amount of space in the forest, and at least one new territory will be established.

The pair in the area seem to have finalised this year’s breed. Both birds are beginning to look worse for wear feather wise and the moulting probably is only a month  to six weeks or so away.

Red-capped Robin males in territorial discussion. Dominate male in rear.
Red-capped Robin males in territorial discussion. Dominate male in rear.
Male Red-capped Robin territory dispute resolution
Male Red-capped Robin territory dispute resolution
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