Monday, 6 June 2011

Wattle-less Wattle-bird

Its name Little Wattle-bird anthochaera rufogularis would suggest that it would have wattles even small ones, but like its relative the Spiney-cheeked Honeyeater it lacks the distinctive cheek wattles that distinguish its larger relatives the Red Wattle-bird and the Yellow Wattle-bird.
The Little Wattle-birds range throughout the open forest and coastal regions of  south-eastern Australia particularly in areas with Banksias and Dryandras.

Today's visitor arrived at one of its favourite food trees the Coastal Banksia Banksia integrifolia but found that it was in a tree which the Spangled Drongo has designated as its territory. For 20 minutes or so there was much chasing around the tree interspersed with a quick feed from the flower heads. During the break in the chase some shows of defiance by the Little Wattle-bird accompanied by  harsh loud challenge calls "Quarr-chock" which the Spangled Drongo would answer with its own harsh cackle and the chase would be on again. Finally the Little Wattle-bird decided there must be easier places to find a meal and flew off.

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