Wallaby charmers

The dainty Red-necked Wallabies are my most common marsupial here, and I daily see small groups grazing along the yard fence line, not far from my verandah. When I appear, they usually look up to see what I’m doing, then it’s heads back down to resume eating.

As you can see, the amount of red they have on their grey fur varies quite a lot. Here’s a young male (above, left) and a female with a joey in her pouch.
Often the Red-necked Wallaby mothers that I see here seem far too small to be mothers. By the time the joey is old enough to stay out of the pouch it is nearly as big as its mum. This one (left) wasn’t venturing out today but it was leaning out and doing a bit of practice grazing.

The male kept interrupting his grazing to deal with something itchy — fleas, ticks, leeches? — twisting round to reach the spots with his mouth as well as his neat front paws. I doubt he could reach his tail, but he was very flexible — and determined — so who knows?

11 thoughts on “Wallaby charmers”

  1. Hello Cheryl,
    Your time at Thumb Creek sounds a little like my mountain life, although much harder – and I have a 4WD. I think you’d relate to my book. Am glad you are able to still live on acreage and be visited by the local wallabies. Nature is such a comfort, isn’t it?
    All the best,

  2. Before buying my property at Allgomera , I lived on 400 acres in the mountains at a place called Thumb Creek 1.5hours from town , no electricity ,no car with my 11 year old son . A hard life but the making of my son and myself. I am disabled on crutches permantly and also epileptic. We at that stage could have our groceries delivered to our post box 8kms away. What a life It broke my heart to leave but I had to admit ( after 20 years ) that it was too far, when my son moved in order to find work. He is now the most resoureful man with 4 businesses , but he now lives 5 hours from me so I look after myself , to the best of my ability.

  3. I have about 20 red necked wallabies residing with me on my 5 acre property at Allgomera 15 kms from Macksville on the mid-north coast of N.S.W. I feed them some macropod food when they come to visit me and some of them are quite bold , especially one big buck ,they will come right up to me . I love them it is the reason I bought this property and it is the highlight of my day when they come to visit.

  4. Hi Graham,
    Thanks for those closely observed details on wallaby birthing –and hygiene. I’ll be able to pay more attention now they are inside the yard all the time.

  5. Both male and females sit on their back with tail out front. Females give berth in this position so the joey has a flat track to get to the pouch. If they get familiar to you like yours you may see this in the dark. She will carry on if disturbed so back away because you will need night vision binoculars to see what is going on because of the joey’s size. Very small.
    They all have a split toenail on the inside of the back legs and they use this very expertly to rake the fur clean of ticks when they can reach while leaning back with tail out for balance. And they use this to clean inside their nostrils and ears too.
    Cheers. Graham.

  6. Hi Peter,
    A swamp wallaby would be special here; they seem much more shy?
    Will keep an eye out for the forward -tail grooming, thanks!

  7. Well, I can’t imagine elegant deer wandering by so close, DWG! And yes wallabies eat many plants I cherish but avoid the ones I don’t want, like tussock grass.

  8. Hi Sharyn,

    I have a very tame Swamp Wallaby that hovers near my house. She strolled right past me the other day in the rain while I was giving the car a quick free wash.

    As to reaching their tails, I have seen something similar (a Grey Kangaroo, Wallaroo or a Swampie – can’t remember and I didn’t get a photo) stand up with their tail between their legs and groom it that way, holding it with their front paws.

  9. I still can not imagine looking out and seeing Wallabies just strolling and eating so close. They are so fascinating to me and they don’t seem to damage the property…or do they? Love this post!! In all the cold we are having the deer are moving more than usual and yesterday a big buck just wandered in real close to my house…and a fence won’t keep him out. They will destroy the nice plants, so I will have to use a repellant to hold them back I suppose. Not harmful..they just can’t tolerate the odor. Price you pay for living in the “country” and I don’t intend to move!!!! Thanks for my favorite kind of post!!! DWG

  10. Hi Denis,
    With all this rain and heat and grass growth the mowing is daunting and am wondering what else the wallabies would eat if I let them into the yard; I suppose I should assume it would be whatever I valued most, like the citrus.

  11. Hi Sharyn
    Lovely group of Wallabies.
    I have seen the same species around the house of Amanda and Steve (from Rivers SOS) at Limeburner’s Creek, near Stroud. They also have the house fenced off – leaving the Wallabies outside, to stop them eating the more precious garden plants.
    There is a big size difference between males and females, but I have noticed the same problems you mention with even huge Grey Kangaroos. It is just something the little girls “deal with”, it seems.


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