Red Wattlebird

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a's picture
Red Wattlebird


The past couple of days I have noticed a Red Wattlebird, that normally feeds on my grevilleas,  eating the mincemeat that I throw out for the magpies and grey butcherbirds. I didn't think they ate meat?! Are they known to eat meat?


zosterops's picture

just wait til Woko hears about this!

yes the wattlebirds are omnivores, they also eat insects and spiders in addition to nectar. they are also known to opportunistically raid dog food bowls if unattended by canids. 

Woko's picture

Fear not. Woko has heard about this sort of thing!

Toniademarchi, zosterops is referring to numerous posts about artificial feeding of birds (particularly my thinking on the issue!) & the benefits of naturally feeding birds by planting their natural habitat. Just type in <artificial feeding> in the search box near the top of this page to get a flavour of the discussion.

For your information, the point at which I became an advocate for the natural habitat method of feeding our native birds was when I heard a biologist talking about Red Wattlebirds in Melbourne dying from thiamine deficiency due to people planting exotics which flowered & thereby attracted Wattlebirds at a time of year when the birds would normally have migrated to places populated by the insects they needed for their thiamine. 

Confirming me in my belief that natural habitat protection & restoration is the preferred method of feeding wildlife was a ranger at Gariwerd in Victoria who told me that people feeding bread to Eastern Grey Kangaroos had caused the death of many Kangaroos from constipation.

There are so many ways in which well-intentioned people lavish attention on our wildlife when, in fact, they are doing significant harm.

toniademarchi@i...'s picture

I hear what you are saying about artificial feeding of the wildlife. I've been doing this for over 10 years now. I feed them commercial birdseed and mincemeat. There are plenty of grevillea flowers in my garden, but recently the Red Wattlebird has chosen the mincemeat. This morning I witnessed an adult Red Wattlebird feed mincemeat to its young! 

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