Birds of the World

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Passeriformes, Oscines, Corvida - "Robins"
 
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Corvida (-oidea)
Family: Australian Robins
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
   Suborder Passeres - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
Wiki     ToL
  Passerines. Most passerines are smaller than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one (the hallux) backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest.  Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines, Suborder Passeres, are our "song birds" with complex syringeal muscles used to produce varied and complex vocalizations.
Covida. Australasia center with old endemics and radiations including the corvids, Old World orioles, shrikes, and vireos.
 
  Parvorder (Infraorder) Corvida (Superfamily Corvoidea)
       Birds of Australo-Papuan Origin
Wiki     ToL
  One of Sibley and Ahlquist’s (1990) two major taxa of songbirds. Most living birds placed in this group are confined to Australasia and it is logical that the group originated and radiated (diverged ) there where the oldest elements still reside. The sister group, the Passerida, probably originated in Africa or Eurasia. As Australia drifted closer to Asia in the Tertiary, some corvids dispersed to Asia and radiated there and spread to other parts of the world. Reciprocally, a few passerids have colonized Australia and New Guinea from Asia. Ancestors of the vireos originated in Australia and may have reached South America via Antarctica - Antarctica, South America, and Australia were once united to form the super-continent Gondwana which was covered with beech (Nothofagus) forest. As the continents separated and moved, Antarctica drifted south and became less hospitable… As Australia drifted toward the equator, it became far more tropical. These changes need to be kept in mind when considering the distribution of birds…
   Recent evidence suggests that this is not a distinct clade but rather an evolutionary grade and has been largely superseded by a group of superfamilies regarded as basal among the Passeri. Here we have split the basal oscines (Menuroidea) and honeyeaters (Meliphagoidea) from the original Parvorder.
   794 species, 155 genera. This superfamily includes the remaining old endemics of Australia and New Guinea plus several groups derived from corvid ancestors that radiated elsewhere (Corvidae, Oriolidae, Malaconotidae, Aegithinidae, Vireonidae, Laniidae, and Irenidae).
   Families are listed in the order given by Sibley and Monroe (1990) with additional potential groups suggested at the end.
 
  Australian Robins
Sibley and Monroe (1990) place this taxa in the Corvoidea. Corvoidea incertae sedis? However, Wikipedia suggests that they might be an independent endemic group? The Tree of Life places the Petroicidae as a basal group of Passerida (rather than the Corvoidea) and regards them as a sister group of rockjumpers, whipbirds and rockfowl at the base of the cladogram.
   Recent evidence suggests that they are a distinct lineage, possibly an early offshoot of Passerida. They are, however, not "core" (advanced) Passerida. The group probably should be moved to the Infraorder Passerida?
   
  (Family Eopsaltridae (Sibley and Monroe, 1990))
Family Petroicidae 
(Clements, 2007; Dickinson, 2003; Harris 2009)
     Australo-Papuan Robin
  
including Drymodes (Scrub Robin)
Wiki     ToL     EoL
Wiki     EoL
  46 (43-45) species, 14 (13) genera. Australia and New Zealand with species on New Guinea and several South Pacific islands.
   The family can be divided into 3 subfamilies:
      Subfamly Drymodinae
- ground-robins (Amalocichla) and scrub-robins (Drymodes);
      Subfamily Eopsaltriinae (yellow-fronted Robins including the Grey-headed Robin (Heteromyias albispecularis), Poecilidryas, Black-throated
          Robin (Plesiodryas albonotata), Olive-yellow Robin (Gennaeodryas placens),Tregellasia, Eopsaltrina, Mangrove Robin (Peneoenanthe
          pulverulenta
), Peneothello, and Melanodrras; and
      Subfamily Petroicinae
- Pachycelpahlpsis, Garnet Robin (Eugerygone rubra), Petroica (including the Tomtit, P. macrocephala), Microeca
          (including flyrobins and the Jacky-winter, Microeca fascinans), and the Torrent Flyrobin, Monachella muelleriana)

   These are relatively small but stocky, chat-like birds with a large, rounded head, rounded wingtips, and a short bill (hooked in some species). Their plumage is yellow or red below and most are sexually dimorphic. They have 10 primaries and the tail has 12 feathers. Their legs are moderately long. They are found in wooded habitats from subalpine habitats to tropical rainforest, mangrove swamps, and arid scrub. All eat mostly insects. They perch and pounce, often hanging sideways on the tree trunk to scan the ground. Many form long-term pair bonds and some breed cooperatively (with family members serving as helpers. The female builds a cup-shaped nest and decorates the outside with lichens or moss to hide it. Some are cooperative breeders. They lay 2-3 eggs which are incubated 14-20 days (by the female in most species). Both parents care for the young. They fledge in 12-17 days.