Red Wattlebird Ed Dunens/Flickr

Red Wattlebird

Did You Know?

  • This species is highly territorial and can be seen mobbing and attacking other birds of the same species or other larger species that may be threatening their territory
FactBox Image

A fleshy reddish wattle (skin flap) is on the side of the neck. Plumage is grey-brown on body, with prominent white streaks and yellow on belly. Face is pale and tail is long with a white-tip. Young Red Wattlebirds are duller than the adult and have a brown, rather than reddish, eye. The wattle is also very small and pale.

Its nest is an untidy saucer of sticks, leaves, and grass lined with bark-strips, fur, and hair; 2 - 16 m high in the fork of a tree or on a branch against trunk.


33 - 37 cm long



The male produces a loud cackle and the female a whistling call. The male’s call can be described as a squawking, coughing or hiccupping sound with the occasional harsh ‘yac a yac’ and ‘chock’ sound from both sexes.


Primarily feed on nectar but have been observed feeding on insects and small fruits.


July to December, though occasionally outside these months if conditions are favourable. One or two broods are laid each year.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • Courting/Mating

  • Calling

  • Feeding

  • Bird on chicks

  • Bird on eggs

  • Bird on nest

  • Bird feeding young

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Present year round
  • Breeding occurs from July to December
  • Eggs laid late May to January
  • Eggs hatch 16-21 days after being laid
  • Young fledge 15-20 days after hatching

Where To Look

  • Range extends throughout southern areas of mainland Australia
  • It occurs in sclerophyll forests, woodlands generally dominated by eucalypts
  • Also in urban parklands and gardens
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

The Red Wattlebird can be distinguished by these other birds by its distinct red wattle on the side of its neck. Be sure to also listen out for its distinct call to confirm your sighting.

Similar Species

Spiny-cheeked honeyeater: The beak of this bird is red with a black tip. Plumage is brown and predominately white on its underbelly, does not have a yellow belly.

Yellow Wattlebird: Larger with paler streaking in its plumage as well as long yellow wattles.

Little Wattlebird: fine silvery streaks in plumage, lacks wattles, chestnut wingpatches can be seen in flight.