The red wattlebird is a passerine bird native to southern Australia. At 33–37cm in length, it is the second largest species of Australian honeyeater. The species is found in southeast Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and southwest Western Australia. It is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
About Red wattlebird in brief
The red wattlebird is a passerine bird native to southern Australia. At 33–37cm in length, it is the second largest species of Australian honeyeater. The species is found in southeast Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and southwest Western Australia. It has mainly grey-brown plumage, with red eyes, pinkish-red wattles on either side of the neck, white streaks on the chest and a large bright yellow patch on the lower belly. There are three recognised subspecies, though there is a zone of intermediate birds across western Victoria and eastern South Australia, bordered by western Port Phillip Bay to the east, Mount Lofty Ranges to the west, and Little and Big Desert national parks to the north. It is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, but has declined in places from land-clearing, and is a common visitor to urban gardens and parks. It builds a cup-shaped nest in a tree and raises one or two broods a year. Unlike many species in southwestern Australia, the red Wattlebird was given names by the local indigenous people that were onomatopoeic. The generic name derives from the Ancient Greek anthos ‘flower, bloom’ and khairō ‘enjoy’ Common names include gillbird, gilly warbler, barkingbird, muttonbird, butcherbird, what’s o clock, and chock. Analysis of DNA showed that the closest relative of the red w cattlebird is the yellow wattlebirds of Tasmania, the pair splitting from the ancestor of the regent honeyeaters.
The red wellowsbird is one of the largest nectar-feeding birds in the world, feeding from a wide variety of flowering plants. The sexes are similar in plumage. Juveniles have less prominent wattles and browner eyes. Insects also comprise part of its diet, and it is territorial and at times aggressive towards birds of other species, often defending rich sources of nectar. The nape is streaked with pale brown at the rear of the crown, with white streaks at the front and white at the back. The average weight of the adult male is 100–120 grams, and the adult female from 34 centimetres to 37 centimetres. With an average weight of 100 to the average male of 100 grams, red wellobird is the secondlargest species of honey eater in Australia, eclipsed only by the yellow wattle bird. It was first described as the wattled bee-eater by the Irish surgeon and naturalist John White in his Journal of a Voyage to NewSouth Wales, which was published in 1790. The specific epithet, carunculata, was introduced later in the same year by John Latham. Both Shaw and Latham assigned the redwattlebird to the genus Merops. The species was moved to Anthochaera in 1827 by the naturalists Nicholas Aylward Vigors and Thomas Horsfield.