Australasian Figbird Click to enlarge image
Australasian Figbird Image: Lance
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    vieilloti
    Genus
    Sphecotheres
    Family
    Oriolidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Up to 29 cm

Olive-green body with a black crown and bare red skin around eyes.

Identification

The male has bare, red skin around the eye, a black crown and a grey neck and throat. Its body is olive-green, except for a white under-tail area. The female has grey skin around the eye and lacks distinctive head markings. It is brown-green above and dull-white below, streaked with brown. Both sexes have a blackish bill. Males in the north have a yellow front, in contrast to the completely olive-green birds in the south.

Habitat

Rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests; also urban parks and gardens, particularly those with figs and other fruit-producing trees.

Distribution

Northern and eastern Australia.



Feeding and diet

Commonly encountered in city parks that contain fig trees, and will often visit orchards and gardens that have leafy trees and berry-producing plants. It feeds in flocks and will eat most soft fruits and berries; insects are also an important part of their diet.

Breeding behaviours

It nests in small, semi-colonial groups, with nests often quite close together. The nest is cup-shaped and built of vine tendrils and twigs. It is supported by its rim from the horizontal fork of an outer branch of the canopy, up to 20 m above the ground. Both males and females incubate the eggs and feed the young. Its call is a loud, descending 'chiew'.