Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 67 - Red Wattlebird

The Red Wattlebird is a common enough garden bird in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne.  As a result it came as a bit of a shock to realise that I did not have any pictures of them.  That they are lovers of undergrowth and the middle of bushes may go some way to explain there absence from my catalogue!

The bird in these pictures was a little more accommodating than most, not only did it sit out in the open for a while it also sat still as well.  Thank you bird!

If you have a look at the images in larger view (ie click on them!) you should be able to see the red flap of skin that gives these birds their name - the red wattle.

These birds feed on the nectar of flowering plants, mainly gum trees.  It is this flower fetish that gives the bird part of its scientific name - Anthochaera carunculata.  This means (and I'm not making this up!)  "Flower fancier with little fleshy bits"!  I'm going to have difficulty finding a better snippet of taxonomic wisdom than that!

At 35 cm long these are one of the largest of the honeyeaters.  At best its voice could be described as harshly metallic, and it worst simply awful.  And loud!

The young birds are an older picture I took a year or so back.





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45 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

ha ha! i try to keep my 'fleshy bits' to a minimum! :)

great shots of this bird!

EG CameraGirl said...

Thank you for pointing out the wattle. The name totally makes sense, as does its scientific one.

Andrew Fulton said...

Thanks for the info Stewart it's another new species to me...
Lovely images and it's not often I hear birdsong being called "awful".

Sylvia K said...

I always learn something about birds when I visit your Wild Bird Wednesday, Stewart!! Wonderful captures as always!

Andrea said...

That little red spot is enough to name the bird after? When I think of wattle, I think of turkeys. He sure is a cranky looking bird and if his call is metalic he probably sounds cranky too. Love the translation of the scientific name ... someone must have been in a good mood when they chose it. So once again, you have introduced me to a bird I have never heard of. Soon I will know more about the birds in Australia than I do about our USA bird population ... must mean I should come down there to see them ... still on my bucket list :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Nette Cecilia said...

Very nice picture of that bird ,Nette

Babs Helferich said...

Sweet bird :)

Dave said...

Actually a lovely looking species Stewart and a new one for my "must do Australia" list

Chris Rohrer said...

That happens to me as well:) When I'm organizing photos etc, I realize I overlook the very common birds:) I'd love to have that common bird over here:)

Kenneth C Schneider said...

Interesting-looking birds, nicely photographed and described. The babies seem to have wattle-buds!

genie said...

It sounds look you were in the luck when you decided to take theses shots. Coming out in the open and sitting still...that is a miracle. Beautiful captures. genie

Karen said...

Nice captures Stewart. A handsome bird, and the babies are so cute!

Carletta said...

In that first shot he appears to be looking as curious about you as you were about him. :)
Wonderful shots Stewart! So glad he was willing to participate in your photo session.
And because we don't always tend to think about it - thanks for hosting WBW!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart Love these shots and have seen these birds when I was in Sydney area. Never saw the young before so that was great. All wonderful shots. Will be posting (my) tomorrow.

Gunilla Bäck said...

It's a beautiful bird, but I'm kind of glad I don't have to listen to it sing!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Always love seeing the little touch of yellow onm this textured bird. Lovely photos.

Amanda said...

OMG the babies are so cute!!! we have lots of wattlebirds around Mildura too but they are hard to get pics of flitting around. Did you get that info from that new book on names? Having been thinking about getting that...

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Wonderful photos, especially of the young. I've not seen Red Wattlebirds (although they don't appear to be red either) but they do look very nice.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Gorgeous birds!!!! I love the duet especially.

Montanagirl said...

What beautiful birds! I like their red wattle.

Carole M. said...

Hi Stewart, this is one bird I can rely on seeing regularly here at home. I especially like seeing the two youngsters; I only see the koel babe' -- don't know how I get to miss out on the wattle bird young.

DIMI said...

Beautiful Australian birds Stewart!!
Great shots!!!Have a nice day!!
Dimi...

Optimistic Existentialist said...

A very beautiful bird indeed. I love the yellow!!

Heather Wilde said...

Ey up lad, Finn's away at t'Grandma's so he has asked me to link him up. Love that bright bit of yellow belly. When are you coming to visit the homeland?

Christian Perrin said...

Lovely photos of a bird with a big personality, no doubt! They are only found in a couple of spots in QLD, out west near Toowoomba and Girraween. I love seeing them when I visit Sydney though!

Brian King said...

Magnificent photos, Andrew! This is a handsome bird.

mick said...

Great photos of the Red Wattlebird and the two young ones are especially cute.

thewovenspoke said...

Very interesting looking birds. you did a great job with your shots so the wattle is visible . I am always amazed at the information and wonderful photos you post. Thanks again stewart!

Gail Dixon (LaBelle) said...

A beautiful and interesting bird. So great that you were able to get so many different poses from him. Awesome job!

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Now I know why those birds are called Red Wattles!

Our photos said...

You have make beautiful birds photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for pointing the "wattle" out.
Nice photos of good looking birds!

Arija said...

There zou are at 5 in the morning, half awake, listening to the dulcet tones of a blackbird, when the wattle birds start their gawawking, cutting like a chainsaw through your sleep.
We have suffered an absolute population explosion of these noisy birds that rip banksias to shreds and chase the other honey-eaters out of the grevilleas.

Jo said...

That's the teeniest bit of red [wattle] to name a bird with! Great shots though! I'm glad I found you again and could link up. Greetings, Jo

LindyLou Mac said...

So pleased this handsome fellow posed for you, great captures. By the way I have answered your question on my photo post. :)

Kerri Farley said...

Oh how lovely!!! what a beautiful bird!

bailey-road.com said...

Stewart, these are wonderful captures of this beautiful bird.

Phil Slade said...

Very smart looking birds Stewart. That last pose is a cracker, nice work.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Sorry I have missed entering your meme lately but I love the beauty bird pictures today!!!

Janice Lynn said...

thanks for sharing it, your article is too good,


Travel Agent India

grammie g said...

Hi Stewart... Great bird , but it makes me wonder why some birds get names that are in reference to some small spot on them !! : )

Thanks for hosting !

Grace

Wally Jones said...

Not only great photos, this is really interesting information!
Some taxonomist (is that a word?) really got specific when naming this one.

Great post, Stewart!

edenhills said...

What a pretty bird even if it is a bit noisy.

Liz said...

Gorgeous images, Stewart! I've only ever managed to capture 2 shots of these birds; one in my parent's garden in Mount Martha back in 2011 & the second while on holidays in Port Macquarie in September! You did well to captures so many.
I'm sorry I've been absent from posting to WBW. I'm trying to complete my holiday series... I should be back in the next week or so!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

He's a very lovely bird! And certainly very appropriately named - whether officially or commonly! Glad he posed for you. Your common birds are of course not so for me.