Red Wattlebird Chicks


Anthochaera carunculata


other names
Gillbird or Wattled Honeyeater


Adults: 320 to 350mm in length. Upper parts grey-brown, shaft streaked white, blacker on crown. Wings and tail are grey-brown with narrow and broad white tipping respectively. Cheeks are plain grey-white with rounded pink-red wattle Throat to breast, flanks and undertail are pale brown-grey heavily streaked white. Centre belly plain yellow. Eye is red. Bill is black and fee are pink flesh.

: As adults but face is duller. Vestigial wattle. Eye is brown. The wattle fills out in first year.

Voice: The call is a hacking cough, higher in females. Single loud chok in alarm. The song is a mellow ringing by female and male, interjected with a harsh deep chok in the male. Song often is accompanied by bill snapping.

Named for the lobes of skin on their cheeks, the Red Wattlebird is found in eucalypt woodlands, forests and mallee heaths in the southern parts of the continent. It is an aggressive three and shrub living bird with a diving undulated flight. It gathers in loose nomadic bands of five to 100 or more after breeding to roam on established flight paths in search of flowering eucalypt, banksia, grevillea and hakea which make up its diet, along with insects, such as honeybees, and fruit. The Red Wattlebird commonly enters well shrubbed urban gardens and is often seen darting between foliage. It remain as long as there is a good supply of food, moving on when it dwindles. In winter the wattlebird leaves higher altitudes and moves north to warmer climates. During breeding season flocks disband and form pairs - possibly permanent. Breeding season is mainly July to December and sometimes in Autumn. The nest is a rough, small cup of grass and twigs, lined with feathers, hair and down. Two to three pink-buff, with sparse red-brown and purplish spotted eggs are laid. Young are fed by both parents until they fledge at around 15 to 16 days.

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