Little Wattlebird

The Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera) is dull brown, but with strongly sliver streaks. It is the smallest of the wattlebirds, and rather misnamed as it has no wattles. It is much smaller than the Red Wattlebird but does have a similar longish, white-tipped tail. The sexes are similar, but females are often smaller with duller plumage.

The Little Wattlebird is a honeyeater and prefers habitats where banksias are abundant, but they also feed on insects for protein, pursuing many flying insects with much skill and speed. Its boldly streaked plumages offers great camouflage amongst banksia blossoms and woody seed capsules.

The Little Wattlebird is not a common visitor to Urrbrae Wetland but can be seen occasionally in the warmer months, often perching on branches then flying down to the water to bathe, and returning to their perch. They can be distinguished from Red Wattlebirds in flight by their smaller size and slightly rufous wings.

Breeding times often follow abundance of blossoming banksias. Its nest is a loose, untidy cup of twigs lined with shredded bark or plant down commonly found in the fork of a banksia, teatree or eucalypt sapling, 1.5-3.5m from the ground. There are 1-2 eggs. Little Wattlebirds defend their territory with loud, harsh calls, often accompanied by rapid bill rattling. (Contributed by Jo G and Wen-Ai)