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The Scarlet Robin is a medium-sized robin, with a plump and compact appearance. Males have a black head, neck and upperparts with a conspicuous white patch above the bill (frontal patch). The 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 underparts. Young birds resemble females but are streaked white above, tinged buff on the wings and are mottled dark-brown on the breast and sides of the body. The Norfolk Island subspecies of the Scarlet Robin differs from mainland birds, with the males having less white in the wings and tail and a larger red breast-patch while the females tend to be browner and also have less white in the wings and tail.