The Red Wattlebird is quite a raucous and common bird. Oddly enough, I find it difficult at times to get a photo of them. They tend to move around quickly and sit up in the canopy where they can be obscured.
A member of the Honeyeater family, the Red Wattlebird can be quite aggressive to other birds. It is often seen chasing other smaller birds and driving them out of their “territory”.
The bird’s distribution is from south east Queensland all the way down through eastern NSW, all of Victoria, the south of South Australia and then the south west of Western Australia.
The sexes of the red wattlebird are similar in size and plumage, the length of the adult male ranging from 33 to 37 centimetres (13 to 15 in) and the adult female from 34 to 37 centimetres (13 to 15 in). With an average weight of 100–120 grams (3.5–4.2 oz), the red wattlebird is one of the largest nectar-feeding birds in the world and the second largest species of honeyeater native to Australia, eclipsed only by the yellow wattlebird.
The red wattlebird appears to be a permanent resident in much of its range, though its movements are poorly known. It appears to be partly migratory in Western Australia and the north coast of New South Wales. In southeastern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, it appears to move to lower altitudes for winter.
Aggressive and territorial, the red wattlebird defends its nest and sources of food against other birds. It either calls at, snaps at the tails of, or flies at other birds, sometimes scuffling with members of the same species or other large honeyeaters in the air. Displacement is a dominant display in which a red wattlebird will land on a perch that has been immediately vacated by another bird. A smaller red wattlebird adopts a horizontal appeasement posture side-on to the aggressor in which it lowers its head, flutters its wings and edges closer to the other bird.