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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brush Wattlebirds

According to my field guide there is difference between Brush and Little Wattlebirds. Little have red eyes. I have never seen Little and, I guess, some Tasmanian bloggers call the Brush Wattlebird a Little Wattlebird by mistake.
Brush Wattlebird, Tasmania
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[edit - 19 Feb 2009] My curiosity was triggered by Gouldiae's comment below, so I decided to do some research online about the name of this and the other Wattlebird. Here is what Wikipedia says on the matter: "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. It was formerly lumped with the Western Wattlebird (Anthochaera lunulata), which is restricted to Western Australia."
In my field guide (Slater Field Guide) the Anthochaera chrysoptera is called Brush Wattlebird, while the Anthochaera lunulata is called Little Wattlebird. I think my field guide is wrong in this case, so my argument at the beginning of the post is wrong too.
Little and Brush are the same, while there is a separate species called Western Wattlebird which has the red eye. I found a good photo illustrating this.


  1. What a great group of photos! Somewhere I have a field guide to birds of Australia that may have a number of your birds in it. I will have to do my homework now.

  2. G'day Nickolay,
    Great shots of a nice bird, regardless of its name. My guide says Little and Brush are alternative names for the same bird. I love the upside down shot.

  3. Very interesting. I look forward to hearing the result of Dave's research.
    They are a good looking bird!

  4. Hi Dave,
    I'm sure you'll have hours of fun with your field guide to birds of Australia, especially during those long winter evenings in the Northern hemisphere :)

  5. G'day Gouldiae,
    I did some research online on the naming and it seems that my field guide is wrong. I will add some information to the post above now.
    Thanks for your comment!

  6. Hi BlackCrow!
    Have a look at the additional info I just appended to this post.

  7. Blimey there is more to this bird watching than meets the eye!!
    Thanks Nickolay for the information!