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Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

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Wattle bird in gum tree

Wattlebird in gum tree

Wattlebirds are the largest honeyeaters in the world, although this one, the red wattle bird, is only second largest, having a bigger cousin in Tasmania.

I had bees in the back yard until wasps wiped them out. On sunny days, when the bees were active and flying high, a wattlebird would wait attentively in the tree and suddenly swoop, taking a bee in mid-air. This particular gum tree doesn't seem to have nectar attractive to wattle birds; most of their feeding here is closer to the ground, japonica being favourite.