Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yellow wattlebirds - What's with the wattle?!

Yellow wattlebird, Evandale, Tasmania (April 2014)
One of Tasmania's endemic bird species, the Yellow wattlebird is the largest of Australia's wattlebirds and also our largest honeyeater. It also has the largest and most ungainly looking wattles of the four wattlebird species. The wattles are the pendulous, yellow-orange bits of fleshy tissue hanging from the neck.

A close encounter with one in the township of Evandale's Pioneer Park got me curious about these structures! If what I read is true then having an impressive wattle is more likely to get you a mate. Females and males are alike.

Yellow wattlebird posing obligingly among the autumn colours of an exotic Silver birch

Anatomically wattles are lumped together with other caruncles such as dewlaps and snoods! I feel that these words are underused - rarely seen or heard in literature, music or general conversation. This travesty makes one's wattles stand on end!


The other striking feature of the Yellow wattlebird is that impressively long tail
Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday makes me all snoody


Bird on!

11 comments:

  1. Yikes ...I looked up caruncles and there is a lot of ugly fleshy stuff there .....

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  2. Great photos and very interesting post. The only wattlebird I have seen around here is the Brush W and the book says it "lacks visible wattles"!

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  3. Beautiful photos of a very interesting bird.

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  4. Great post, I haven't seen a wattlebird close up, thanks for sharing.

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  5. it seems that there are a lot of people with dewlaps, snoods, and wattles as well.
    In Africa, there are Wattled Starlings and Lapwings; Both of which have yellow wattles like the Yellow Wattlebird. Nice photos of an interesting bird.

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  6. It has a beauty all it's own. great images and informative post. TFS

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  7. A fascinating bird! I've never heard of a bird having wattles other than a turkey. Really interesting, but then your part of the world has some of the the most diverse and interesting creatures! Great shots!

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  8. Ahhh... this is the best part of WBW - seeing birds from around the world through the eyes of fellow nature lovers. I had no idea there was even such a thing as a wattlebird! Great images and info - thanks for introducing them to me!

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  9. lol, those flapping stuff makes it look like a huge beak. :)

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  10. These are strange looking bird - the fact they the ones in Melbourne are called Red WB confused when I got here first - given that they are largely yellow!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  11. Super bird and great pictures. I'd love to see these in the wild.

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