Distribution / Habitat:
The species is found in SE Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and southwest Western Australia.
It inhabits open forests, woodland and can be found near human habitation.
Nesting / Breeding
It nests in trees, laying two or three eggs.
This honeyeater is 33 – 37 cm long and is the largest of all honeyeaters. Its name refers to the fleshy reddish wattle on the side of the neck.
The plumage is grey-brown on the body, with prominent white streaks and yellow on the belly. The face is pale and the tail is long with a white-tip. It has several distinctive but unmusical calls including coughs, a harsh ‘yac a yac’ and a loud ‘chok’.
Immature Red Wattlebirds are duller than the adult and have a brown, rather than reddish, eye. The wattle is also very small and pale.
Their staple diet consists of berries, fruit and nectar.
They have highly developed brush-tipped tongues that are adapted for nectar feeding. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed. They also feed on insects and other small creatures, usually by hawking*. (*A hawking bird will typically watch for prey from a suitable perch. When it sees a potential prey, the bird will chase it and catch it in its beak, then return to the perch for feeding.)
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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