One of the main ‘tricks’ in getting close to birds is to be patient and observant.
The small Petroica robins, such as the familiar Scarlet and Red-capped Robins, are essentially ground feeders, often employing ‘perch and pounce’ strategies to locate and catch their insect prey.
Often, however, when you see these species they are high up in the canopy – that’s because you’ve disturbed them and they’ve retreated to a safe vantage point. If you wait at a safe distance they will often descend and resume feeding. Such was the case with this handsome male Red-capped Robin, spotted near Mia Mia Track at the weekend. Once it overcame my intrusion it happily dropped to a low perch, from where it snagged this larva which had been attacked by ants and was wriggling in distress – it was no match for a hungry robin.