Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra

Red Wattlebird­s

- with Foundation of National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW)

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

They have grey-brown bodies with white streaks, a yellow belly and pale face.

Baby Red Wattlebird­s are duller in colour and have a brown eye instead of red.

Red Wattlebird­s live across southern Australia and are frequent visitors to gardens in urban areas.

In winter, Red Wattlebird­s are more frequent visitors to towns and suburbs, where you’ll have a much easier time spotting them.

In south-eastern Australia, lookout for Red Wattlebird­s poking around under your eaves and gutters for spiders to take back to their chicks in the nest.

Red Wattlebird­s migrate in search of winter food.

They love to drink the nectar from flowers in local parks and gardens, as they are part of the Honeyeater family.

They eat mostly nectar but also some insects and can be very aggressive towards other birds that have their eye on the same flowers.

Red Wattlebird­s can be difficult to see when they’re hiding amongst shrubs and bushes.

Listen out for the Red Wattlebird’s 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 nectarprod­ucing plants like grevilleas or paperbarks (melaleucas) as these provide some of the Red Wattlebird’s favourite food.

Red Wattlebird­s have a loud repetitive call and can be as annoying as neighbour’s barking dog, especially as they start to breed.

Bottlebrus­hes and other native trees are winter flowering natives, providing much needed food during cold times of year, and the wattlebird­s will not let any of the nectar go to waste.

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

The best way to live with Red Wattlebird­s is to enjoy their buzzing activity as a sure sign of the coming spring, and trust that they will move on to sweeter nectar once the next species of native tree comes into flower.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia