Family Australasian Robins (Petroicidae)

Least Concern

White-faced Robin (Tregellasia leucops)


French: Miro à face blanche German: Weißgesichtschnäpper Spanish: Petroica cariblanca

Leucophantes leucops


, 1875,

#R, Arfak Mountains, Vogelkop, New Guinea


Subspecies groups based largely on head pattern and bill colour, but differences not striking. Racial identity of populations on Yapen I and in Foja Mts uncertain, but both thought probably to belong in heurni#R; taxonomy complex, and further research required, but each indeterminate population may represent a new taxon. Ten subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. l. leucops (Salvadori, 1875) – Western White-faced Robin – Vogelkop (Tamrau Mts, Arfak Mts) and Bomberai (Kumawa Mts), in NW New Guinea.
  • T. l. mayri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1930) – Wandammen Mts and adjacent part of Weyland Mts, in W New Guinea.
  • T. l. nigroorbitalis (Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1913) – NW & WC New Guinea (Fakfak Mts#R; S slopes of Nassau Mts and Oranje Mts).
  • T. l. heurni (E. J. O. Hartert, 1932) – WC New Guinea (Weyland Mts, mountains on upper Mamberamo R); also, probably this race, Yapen I (in Geelvink Bay) and Foja Mts#R.
  • T. l. nigriceps (Neumann, 1922) – C New Guinea (S slopes of E Oranje Mts, Victor Emanuel Mts).
  • T. l. melanogenys (A. B. Meyer, 1893) – Northern White-faced Robin – N & NE New Guinea (Cyclops Mts E to Adelbert Mts and Huon Peninsula).
  • T. l. wahgiensis Mayr & Gilliard, 1952 – EC New Guinea (Kubor Range and Wahgi Mts) E to SE Peninsula (Mambare R in the N and Aroa R in the S).
  • T. l. auricularis (Mayr & Rand, 1935) – Southern White-faced Robin – Wuroi, on Oriomo R, in S New Guinea.
  • T. l. albifacies (Sharpe, 1882) – Eastern White-faced Robin – mountains of SE New Guinea (E from Hydrographers Mts in N, and inland from Port Moresby in S).
  • T. l. albigularis (Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1907) – Australian White-faced Robin – N Queensland (NE Cape York Peninsula), in N Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–14·5 cm; 15·3–19·4 g. Nominate race has large white loral spot, black line from gape to eye and eyering, dark slaty ear-coverts;... read more


    Song in New Guinea a whistled phrase of three connected syllables, second higher than others,... read more


    In New Guinea mainly forests of oak (Quercus) and southern beech (Nothofagus)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other small arthropods; occasionally seeds. Frequents substage to upper middle stage, foraging in lower storey and undergrowth... read more


    In New Guinea, nest-building and recently completed nest in late Jul, nests with eggs in early Jan, and juveniles seen in late Apr, early... read more


    Mostly sedentary. More than 95% of marked individuals retrapped were recovered less than 10 km from... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In New Guinea, widespread and fairly common to common, but scarce in some areas; reasonably common in Australia. Occurs in Varirata National Park, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). White-faced Robin (Tregellasia leucops). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 November 2019).