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, by Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe. This one has colour drawings of the eggs and the nests which not many other field guides do (I can't think of any that do). It's an excellent field guide and one of the four main ones (the other three being above this one). The weakness of this field guide is that some of the pictures of the birds aren't as good (or accurate) as the other three most used field guides. It's also the heaviest though there is a pocket edition which is much smaller and lighter.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Birdsong, Don Stap Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Wilderness Awareness School $24.00 USD (May not work)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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