Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata

Red Wattlebird

Anthochaera carunculata

Family: Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters, 74 species in Australia)
Size: 31-39 cm
Distribution: Within several hundred km of the coast of NSW, VIC, the very southernmost lower eastern QLD and Eastern SA, southern WA
Status: Common
Habitat: Forests, woods, suburbs
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Red is common in parts of Sydney and many other areas. It is found in the Blue Mountains and is extremely common in the Upper Blue Mountains. It looks a lot like Little Wattlebird, but it has a red flap of skin under its eye (the "wattle"), and it is a lighter grey colour and looks less "spotted". Its underside has yellow colouring on it.

It has a very distinctive call, a bit like an old wooden cuckoo-clock (it imitates the ticking of the clock and also the cuckoo sound), which sometimes can go on for hours at a time.

Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata
Photo: Mick Stephenson, VIC. High Resolution (1750 x 1207).

Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata
Photo: Brett Donald.

Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata
Photo: Peripitus, SA. High Resolution 1492 x 1776).

Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe NEW: Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Finding Australian Birds A Field Guide to Birding Locations, by Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke NEW: Finding Australian Birds A Field Guide to Birding Locations, by Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke. From the eastern rainforests to central deserts, Australia is home to some 900 species of birds. This book covers over 400 Australian bird watching sites conveniently grouped into the best birding areas, from one end of the country to the other. This includes areas such as Kakadu in the Top End and rocky gorges in the central deserts of the Northern Territory, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, rainforests distributed along the eastern Australian seaboard, some of the world's tallest forests in Tasmania, the Flinders Ranges and deserts along the iconic Strzelecki and Birdsville Tracks in South Australia, and the Mallee temperate woodlands and spectacular coastlines in both Victoria and south west Western Australia.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

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Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata

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