Common Wattle-eye

The Common Wattle-eye, probably more correctly named Brown-throated Wattle-eye and is sometimes called Scarlet-spectacled Wattle-eye.

Interesting names and I can see immediately why it would be called Scarlet-spectacled and Common Wattle-eye could refer to it being widespread but Brown-throated refers to the female only. I have examined the pictures below and can’t find even a trace of brown on their throat. A frequent visitor at the lodge garden as they like to be in forest interiors.

Common Wattle-eye
Can you see my brown throat?
Common Wattle-eye
Check out my lovely wattles!

Where is the Common Wattle-eye found?

As mentioned earlier, he is seen at Footsteps mainly because they like forest interiors.

In Gambia for example it is generally fairly common.

What does it look like?

The adult brown-throated wattle-eye is a stout bird about 14 cm (5.5 in) long. The breeding male has glossy black upper parts and white underparts with a neat black breast band. They have a strong white wing bar and fleshy red wattles above the eye.

The females are grey-black above, and also have the white wing bar and red wattles. There is a small patch of white below the bill, and the throat and breast are maroon, separated from the white belly by the black breast band. Young males are washed-out, greyer versions of the female. Source Wikipedia

What does it feed on?

The Common Wattle-eye is an insectivore, which is to say that it eats insects. It will also eat on occasion spiders, millipedes and scorpions. there are even records of very small lizards being eaten.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

The red heart shapes above its eyes are known as “wattles” hence Common Wattle-eye and are used for communication!

How does it sound?

These little birds are very vocal, their call is a harsh “DOO DD DUM DI DO DO”