Red Wattlebird

The red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) is the largest, longest tailed wattlebird in mainland south Australia. It is grey-brown with bold pale streaks with white edges and tips on the flight and tail feathers. There is distinctive lemon yellow colouring on the belly. Note the black forehead and crown and the white patch below the eye, and fleshy red neck wattles (which darken and lengthen with age). In order to gather pollen, it has a long flexible tongue with a divided tip and edges with fine brushlike [something], and is an important pollinator. The females are slightly smaller with a shorter tail. The immatures are pale and have no wattles.

The red wattlebird is a very noisy and agressive bird and can feed acrobatically taking flying insects or hopping after insects on the ground.

Its voice is an easily recognisable harsh 'cough' and hacking 'yak yak'. Its flight is strong and direct or undulating.

The red wattlebird prefers forest, woodland, scrub or whereever nectar bearing, insect attracting, fruit and berry bearing vegetation can be gound. Hence they are highly mobile/nomadic birds.

They breed from July to December in an untidy nest of sticks and leaves line with fur or hair. Two or three eggs are laid. (Courtesy of Jo G.)