Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)


French: Méliphage barbe-rouge German: Rotlappen-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero carunculado

Merops carunculata


, 1790,

region of Port Jackson, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Closely related to A. paradoxa. Nominate and woodwardi intergrade in broad zone across SE South Australia and W Victoria. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. woodwardi Mathews, 1912 – S Western Australia E to S South Australia (E to Mt Lofty Ranges).
  • A. c. carunculata (Shaw, 1790) – SE Queensland S (mainly on and E of Great Divide) to Victoria and SE South Australia (W to about Mt Lofty Ranges).
  • A. c. clelandi (Mathews, 1923) – Kangaroo I, off South Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 33–37 cm, 90–140 g; female 34–37 g, 82–133 g. Nominate race has head and neck black-brown, densely streaked white on nape and hindneck, uniformly... read more


    Range of loud, harsh, raucous vocalizations; particularly noisy when congregating at food source.... read more


    Wide variety of dry to moist sclerophyllous forests and woodlands, usually dominated by ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly nectar, also invertebrates (mainly insects), lerp, honeydew and manna, and fruit; rarely, small reptiles (Scincidae) and eggs... read more


    Eggs late May to Jan (mostly early Sept to early Nov) and breeding noted in all months except Apr and early May; at Imbota (in N New South... read more


    Complex and few clear patterns. At least partly resident and partly migratory. At study sites on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. Many estimates of density, ranging up to 3 birds/ha. Local or regional populations adversely affected by loss or degradation of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 January 2020).