The Red Wattlebird gets its name from a fleshy reddish wattle on the side of the neck. This is found only in this species, although it is often difficult to see. Besides this, the bird can be identified by its grey-brown body, boldly streaked with white, yellow belly and long, white-tipped tail. The smaller Little Wattlebird is somewhat similar in plumage, but lacks the facial wattle, and has conspicuous rufous patches on the undersurface of the wings. The Red Wattlebird inhabits forests, woodlands and gardens, where it aggressively protects the food-bearing plants from other honeyeater species. The Red Wattlebird is found in the southern areas of the Australian mainland, where its loud “chok” or harsh “yac a yac” calls are distinctive.