Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Red Wattlebird

- with Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife

RED Wattlebird­s (Anthochaer­a carunculat­a) are large honeyeater­s easily identified by their fleshy reddish wattle on the side of the neck and are part of the Honeyeater family.

They live across southern Australia and are more frequent visitors to towns and suburbs in winter when they migrate in search of winter food.

They love to drink the nectar from flowers but they will also eat some insects and can be very aggressive towards other birds that have their eye on the same flowers.

Look out for Red Wattlebird­s poking around under your eaves and gutters for spiders to take back to their chicks in the nest.

Red Wattlebird­s can be difficult to see when they’re hiding amongst shrubs and bushes so listen for the loud, harsh ‘cookey cook’ and ‘tobacco box, tobacco box’ calls - they sound quite like the Noisy Friar Bird.

If you want to encourage Red Wattlebird­s to your garden, plant nectar-producing plants.

Grevilleas and paperbarks (melaleucas) provide some of the Red Wattlebird’s favourite food.

Bottlebrus­hes and other native trees are winter flowering natives, providing much needed food at this cold time of year and your wattlebird­s will not let any of their nectar go to waste.

Starting their families does not only come with noisy announceme­nts, you may also find that the wattlebird­s become more aggressive in defending their nest sites and territorie­s.

Like all native birds, the wattlebird­s are protected, and there is not much you can do to discourage them from a favourite food tree.

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