Noisy Friarbird, Philemon corniculatus Click to enlarge image
Noisy Friarbird, Philemon corniculatus Image: S.G. Lane
© S.G. Lane

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    corniculatus
    Genus
    Philemon
    Family
    Meliphagidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Phylum
    Chordata
  • Size Range
    Up to 35 cm

Large bird, black head, strong bill with prominent bump, dark brown grey above, white underneath.

Identification

A large bird with a distinctive naked black head and a strong bill with a prominent casque (bump) at the base. The upper parts are dark brown to grey; the underbody is off-white, with silver-white feathers around the throat and upper breast; and the tail has a white tip. It is a member of the honeyeater family.

Habitat

Dry forests and eucalypt woodlands, as well as coastal scrub, heathlands and around wetlands and wet forests.

Distribution

Eastern Australia.

Seasonality

Partial migrant in south of range, moving north in autumn and south in late winter.

Feeding and diet

Its diet consists of nectar, fruit, insects and other invertebrates and sometimes eggs or baby birds. It spends most of its time feeding high up in the trees, only coming down to the ground occasionally. Often feeds in noisy flocks, and with other honeyeaters.

Communication

Its call is a noisy, harsh and discordant deep honking sound: 'tobacco' or 'four o'clock'. Also a sharp 'owk owk'.

Breeding behaviours

They form long-term pairs, with both parents defending the nest and surrounds. The female builds the large, deep cup-shaped nest from bark and grass, bound with spider webs, slinging it in a tree-fork. She alone incubates the eggs, but both parents feed the young, for up to three weeks after fledging.



Seasonality

Partial migrant in south of range, moving north in autumn and south in late winter.

Feeding and diet

Its diet consists of nectar, fruit, insects and other invertebrates and sometimes eggs or baby birds. It spends most of its time feeding high up in the trees, only coming down to the ground occasionally. Often feeds in noisy flocks, and with other honeyeaters.

Communication

Its call is a noisy, harsh and discordant deep honking sound: 'tobacco' or 'four o'clock'. Also a sharp 'owk owk'.

Breeding behaviours

They form long-term pairs, with both parents defending the nest and surrounds. The female builds the large, deep cup-shaped nest from bark and grass, bound with spider webs, slinging it in a tree-fork. She alone incubates the eggs, but both parents feed the young, for up to three weeks after fledging.