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


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


Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. The 30 top bird-watching localities in and around Sydney. These birding hot spots stretch from Tuggerah Lakes on the Central Coast to Lake Illawarra near Wollongong and from the Blue Mountains in the west to some surprisingly accessible sites tucked away in the heart of the city. Each locality entry lists the key species to look out for including rare and seasonal visitors. It describes how to access the location, and what amenities to expect; maps are featured. There is also a handy list of Sydney birds, each entry providing information on the best spots to find it.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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