Re: birding-aus Hello, and Red wattle bird

To: Rachelle Levingston <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Hello, and Red wattle bird
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 13:26:42 +1000
Rachelle Levingston wrote:
, when a Red Wattle bird is in courtship, does it's wattles inflate?
>          -I had a big debate about it with my science teacher and
> would love to prove her wrong) so if any one knows an answer I would 
> appreciate
> it greatly if you could reply.
>                       Rachelle.
Hullo Rachelle. It's a good question! I don't think that the Red
Wattlebird can actually inflate or engorge its wattles as a display
activity. But I am sure that birds in breeding condition have more
conspicuous and larger wattles than non-breeders. The wattles also add
to a territory-holding bird's ability to impress and send away
 near nestsite or
food resources.  If you can observe nesting birds it would be worth
keeping your eye open for momentary increased colour between members of
a pair. 
   I have seen a suggestion that the facial wattle round the Regent
Honeyeater's eye varies in colour - blushing bright red at emotional
moments, such as nest change-over, from pink in breeding pairs.  It is
paler and yellower in nonbreeding and immature birds.
   Certain pheasants such as the Tragopans (males) have a wattle like
structure on the chin which during display is inflated or engorged with
blood (not sure which) to show amzing vivid red and blue colouring (an
unforgettable moment in a Gerald Durrell program some years ago).  In
domestic fowls (also members of Pheasant family) the colour of a hen's
wattles are an important clue to the rooster - if her wattles are pale
she is of no interest to him; if red she will be courted. If a hen is in
poor condition or sickly she loses wattle colour.

  Happy birding from Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU