Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga


Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
November 16, 2009, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Observations | Tags: , ,

I typically think of the Red Wattlebird as being largely an autumn-winter resident, like the Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina). In Canberra, certainly, they are far more common in the colder months, though a few individuals may be present year-round. It’s possible that this is simply because of the lack of adequate nesting sites in urban areas; a shortage of space means that the birds are required to spread out into neighbouring woodland in order to breed. This year, however, the wattlebirds did not leave when the currawongs did. Many have elected to remain in town to establish breeding territories, which they defend aggressively.

The young bird above was photographed in O’Halloran Park, near Lake Albert. Two rival breeding pairs appear to have claimed the park as their territory, and this poor individual had to hop slowly across open space (it was too young to fly over distance) and into the safety of a tree occupied by its parents, all the while being swooped by rival wattlebirds. They grow up quickly, however: within a few weeks this young bird had reached full adult size.

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