A fleshy reddish wattle (skin flap) is on the side of the neck. Plumage is grey-brown on body, with prominent white streaks and yellow on belly. Face is pale and tail is long with a white-tip. Young Red Wattlebirds are duller than the adult and have a brown, rather than reddish, eye. The wattle is also very small and pale.
Its nest is an untidy saucer of sticks, leaves, and grass lined with bark-strips, fur, and hair; 2 - 16 m high in the fork of a tree or on a branch against trunk.
33 - 37 cm long
The male produces a loud cackle and the female a whistling call. The male’s call can be described as a squawking, coughing or hiccupping sound with the occasional harsh ‘yac a yac’ and ‘chock’ sound from both sexes.
Primarily feed on nectar but have been observed feeding on insects and small fruits.
July to December, though occasionally outside these months if conditions are favourable. One or two broods are laid each year.