Scarlet Robin Mural

Artist: Jackson Harvey
Year completed: 2019

The Scarlet Robin is a small red-breasted medium-sized bird that is found throughout South Western Australia. It has a plump and compact appearance and as with many robins, the male is physically quite different from the female. Males have a black head, neck and upper wings, with a conspicuous white patch above the bill (frontal patch). His breast is scarlet red and the lower underparts are white. The wings are barred white and the outer tail is also white. Females differ markedly from males, being brown above with a whitish frontal patch and an orange-red breast, brown wings and white underneath. Their vivid red feathers captured the attention of the Indigenous Noongar people of South Western Australia, who developed stories around the bird’s red coloration being caused by an aggressive Willie Wagtail punching the robin in the chest, causing it to bleed. The blood then trickled down from the wounded beak to the breast staining his chest red. The Scarlet Robin lives in woodlands and open forests. During winter, it will visit more open habitats such as grasslands and is often seen in nearby farms, urban parks and gardens at this time.