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


Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater. This is a smaller field guide, and its advantage is it is easy to carry around. Its size is 21.3 x 11.4 x 2.8 centimetres, or 8.4 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches in the old scale. So it is a good one to get if you want to have your field guide with you out in the field. Unlike most of the field guides it also has illustrations of the eggs of all the birds that breed in Australia. It has very good reviews on Amazon.

Click here to Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $28.45 AUD (May be unavailable)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) May be expensive.

Click here to purchase from Amazon


The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight. This is the other of the two best bird field guides for Australia. It is the one preferred by many serious birdwatchers. However I find the pictures a bit dull looking for my taste — the birds all kind of look the same to me, making it harder to remember them in my mind. The illustrations are meant to be the most anatomically correct, though. The text descriptions are better than in Simpson and Day. If you want the most serious bird field guide get this one otherwise get Simpson and Day.

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase 9th ed. from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to preorder the 9th ed. from Amazon

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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