Noisy Friarbird

Trish Meyer

Denhams Beach, Australia

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The World As We See It , or as we missed it … March 2013
Mustard Seeds and Lilies … March 2013
In His Name … April 2013

Photographed at Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Noisy Friarbird
Scientific name: Philemon corniculatus
Family: Meliphagidae
Order: Passeriformes
The Noisy Friarbird is a large member of the honeyeater family with a distinctive naked black head and a strong bill with a prominent casque (bump) at the base. The upperparts 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. Average length is 35cm and weight 117grams.

The Noisy Friarbird differs from other friarbirds by having a completely bare black head and upper neck. It can be distinguished from the similarly sized Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata when flying by its plain unstreaked upperparts, square tail with white tips, as well as the distinctive black head and bill.

The Noisy Friarbird is found in eastern and south-eastern Australia, from north-eastern Queensland to north-eastern Victoria. It is also found in southern New Guinea, preferring dry forests and eucalypt woodlands, as well as coastal scrub, heathlands and around wetlands and wet forests, and is found in most climate zones, extending into arid areas along rivers.
The Noisy Friarbird is a partial migrant in the southern part of its distribution, moving north in autumn and south in late winter.

The Noisy Friarbird eats nectar, fruit, insects and other invertebrates and sometimes eggs or baby birds. They spend most of their time feeding on nectar high up in trees, only coming down to the ground occasionally to feed on insects. They often feed in noisy flocks with other honeyeaters such as the Red Wattlebird.

Noisy Friarbirds 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, up to three weeks after fledging.
The Noisy Friarbird can be a pest of orchards and they are often found in remnant forest patches after agricultural clearing.

Edited from The Australian Museum website Birds in Backyards.

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