Start Description of the Black Robin
The Black Robin is a small,sparrow-sized bird measuring 10–15 cm high. Its plumage is almost entirely brownish-black, with a black bill and brownish-black yellow-soled feet.
Some of the obvious adaptations of the Black Robin are;
- Finds worms by keen eyesight (not by hearing!)
- They have a beautiful song
- Females are usually smaller than the male
- They have a good eyesight to see in the dark
- Feathers are very black and grow between 10 and 15 centimetres high
- Its plumage is almost entirely brownish-black, with a black bill and brownish-black yellow-soled feet.
There are also a few more which are not so obvious.
These adaptations are important to the bird because if they weren't there the black robin it wouldn't have this name. The birds rely's on its eyesight a lot more than us humans so if the bird was blind it would need to be looked after because it will not survive in the wild.
Black robins currently live on Rangatira (South East) Island and Mangere Island in the Chatham Islands group. Attempts made to establish another population in a fenced convenant on Pitt Island have failed, possibly due to competition for food with introduced mice.
The Chatham islands form a complex group that have been isolated for 80 million years. This is long enough to develop many plants that are seen nowhere else. Plants like forest trees, giant herbs and seaweed are known to live here. Even the local flax (Phormium “Chathams”) is different. Of 388 indigenous terrestrial plant species, 47 (about one-eighth) are endemic to the Chatham Islands.
The most well known to the Chatham Islands, out of the endemic is the forget-me-not, rautini, Chatham Islands kakaha and the soft speargrass. Plants of the Chathams show a much higher proportion of coloured flowers than in mainland New Zealand. Examples are Chatham Island forget-me-not which is a bright blue colour (picture below).