Little Wattlebird

Little Wattlebird 2Description

The little wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), also known as the brush wattlebird, is a honeyeater, a passerine bird in the family Meliphagidae. It is found in coastal and sub-coastal south-eastern Australia.

The little wattlebird is a medium to large honeyeater, but the smallest wattlebird.[6] The appearance is similar to the yellow wattlebird and the red wattlebird.[7] The little wattlebird lacks the wattles[8] which characterise the wattlebirds.

Juveniles are duller with less streaking and have a browner eye.[6]

Distribution and habitat

The little wattlebird is found in banksia/eucalypt woodlands, heathlands, tea-tree scrub, sandplain-heaths, lantana thickets, wild tobacco, parks and gardens.[7]

Call

Calls include a strident cookay-cok, a raucous fetch the gun, a mellow guttural yekkop, yekkop and many squeaky, musical lilting notes. The alarm call is a kwock or shnairt!.[7]

Breeding

Breeding takes place from June to December.[7] The female wattlebird generally constructs the nest,[6] a loose, untidy cup of twigs lined with shredded bark and placed from 1 to 10m high in the fork of a banksia, tea-tree or eucalypt sapling.[7] 1-2 eggs are laid and may be spotted red-brown, purplish red or salmon-pink in colour.[7] The female incubates the eggs alone.[6] Both sexes care for young chicks.[6]

Feeding

Little wattlebirds feed on nectar obtained with a long, brush-tipped tongue, adapted for probing deep into flowers.[6] They also feed on insects, berries and some seeds.[6] Most feeding is done perched but some insects are caught in mid-air. Birds may feed alone or in groups.[6]