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  1. Red_wattle_bird_tatter_flickrcc Red Wattlebird by Tatter (FlickrCC)
  2. Red_wattle_bird__donald_hobern__flickrcc__croped_ Red Wattlebird by Donald Hobern (FlickrCC)
  3. Red_wattle_bird_ed_dunens_flicrcc__croped_ Red Wattlebird by Ed Dunens (FlickrCC)

Red Wattlebird

Anthochaera carunculata


Colour: Fleshy reddish wattle (skin flap) 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.

Size: 33-37cm in length.

Nest: untidy saucer of sticks, leaves, grass; lined with bark-strips, fur, hair; 2-16 m high in fork, or on bark against trunk.


Call: 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.

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

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

What to Observe

·         Courting/mating

·         Calling

·         Feeding

·         Bird on chicks

·         Bird on eggs

·         Bird on nest

·         Bird feeding young

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect birds to start breeding and singing earlier in the year as a result of climate change. They may also start appearing in new areas.

When To Look

·         Present year round

·         Breeding occurs from July-December

·         Eggs lain late May to Jan

·         Eggs hatch 16-21 days after being lain

·         Young fledge 15-20 days after hatching


Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!

Where To Look

Range extends throughout southern areas of mainland Australia. It occurs in sclerophyll forests, woodlands generally dominated by eucalypts as well as in urban parklands and gardens.  


Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Source: BirdLife AustraliaBirdLife distribution map - Red Wattlebird



Pizzey and Knight (2001)The Field Guide to Birds of Australia, 8th edition


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  1. What Else?

    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.  

    The Red Wattle bird 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. Listen to the Call