Length: 32-36 cm Common
Named for the red lobes of skin on its cheeks the Red Wattlebird is found around the southern half of the Australian continent from Geraldton to Brisbane.
At first it seems a dull greyish brown bird but its upper parts are delicately streaked with white, and white tips set off its tail and wing feathers. Its belly is a delicate yellow and its cheeks boast silvery white streaks which widen towards the neck and culminate in the red dangling wattles.
In its natural state it favours woodlands and forests but is quite at home in suburban gardens and parks; and is particularly fond of flowering eucalypt, banksias and bottlebrush. It feeds on nectar, insects, fruit and berries. An amusing characteristic of the Wattlebird is the way it forages amongst the blossoms often dangling upside down as it probes its long tongue into the throat of a flower in search of nectar.
The Red Wattlebird is the largest of Perth’s honeyeaters. It is noisy, aggressive and energetic as it protects food bearing plants from other honeyeaters. It is extremely protective of its nest in the breeding season and will often chase off birds much bigger than itself.
Its nest is cup shaped and built high in the fork of a tree. Built with bark and leaves it is then lined with fur and other soft material. Generally one clutch a year consisting of 2 -3 eggs creamy pink in colour speckled with red and purple spots. Both parents share the incubation and feeding.