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18

Noisy Friarbird

(Philemon corniculatus)
Alternate name(s): "(Knobby-nose) Leatherhead", "Monk", "Four-o'-clock Pimlico", "Poor Soldier"
Aboriginal name(s):
Race "monachus": "dhaguway" [yuwaalaraay]; "currabubula" [gamilaraay]; "galgurang"/"gulgulang" [bundjalung];
Race "corniculatus": "jagaru" [ngadjon]

Size: 30-35 cm
Weight: 85-130 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Noisy Friarbird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "monachus"

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal portrait of a nosy Noisy Friarbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Frontal view illustrating how Noisy Friarbirds got their nickname, "Leatherhead"
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Close-up frontal portrait of a Noisy Friarbird looking sideways; note the prominent neck frill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2022]

Close-up frontal/ventral view of a Noisy Friarbird with its neck frill erected
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2023]

Frontal/ventral views of a Noisy Friarbird issuing its call; the whole body is involved in the process
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2011]

Near-lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Close-up lateral portrait of a Noisy Friarbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2022]

Lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird feeding head-down
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2007]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a preening Noisy Friarbird (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)

Dorsal view of a Noisy Friarbird looking sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird taking off from a grevillea flower (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, August 2014]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Noisy Friarbird looking sideways (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, Ocotober 2013]

Lateral view of a juvenile Noisy Friarbird looking at the observer
(photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, January 2018]

Lateral view of a juvenile Noisy Friarbird (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, Ocotober 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Noisy Friarbird, front left, with an adult behind it - note the juvenile's much smaller casque and the feathers at the nape of the neck (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St Albans, NSW, February 2017]

Ventral view of an adult Noisy Friarbird with a recently fledged chick (upper left)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2023]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Jan Eggs: 2 - 4 Incubation period: 17 days Fledging age: 20 days

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Suspended basket Material: Bark strips and grass, lined with fine grass and wool Height above ground: 2 - 20 m

Additional information

A. Morris and S. Grey report that some bird species, most notably Leaden Flycatchers, like to take advantage of the protection offered by nesting under a Noisy Friarbird nest. There is a separate page about various bird species nesting under the umbrella of a stronger, protective species.

Near-frontal view of a Noisy Friarbird that has decided that its nest needs no camouflage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cooloola NP, QLD, January 2019]

Lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird sitting on its nest
[Bingara, NSW, October 2020]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 35 x 24 mm Colour: Creamy, with brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Solitary/pair/flock

Noisy Friarbirds are the most aggressive nectar-eating species in Australia. Although territorial, they congregate in large numbers where there is food to be found. Especially when the seasons change and nectar-eating species need to move to find flowering trees, Noisy Friarbirds can be seen "raiding" trees in groups of up to 50 birds.

Food, Diet

Like many other honeyeaters, Noisy Friarbirds do not exclusively feed on nectar, but use their sticky tongue to take insects too. Known to feed on fruit as well.

Close-up frontal view of a Noisy Friarbird with pollen all over its bill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2022]

Close-up frontal view of a Noisy Friarbird feasting in a eucalypt
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2014]

Frontal view of a Noisy Friarbird feeding in a Grevillea (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2013]

Close-up view of a Noisy Friarbird reaching sideways to feed on the nectar of a bottlebrush
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2022]

Lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird feeding on nectar in a garden (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead, QLD, February 2017]

Close-up near-dorsal view of a Noisy Friarbird feeding on the nectar of a bottlebrush
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2022]

Close-up dorsal view of a Noisy Friarbird taking fruit from a type of native Dwarf Cherry (Exocarpos strictus)
(photo courtesy of M. Roderick)
[Hunter Economic Zone, Kurri Kurri, NSW, November 2022]

Close-up lateral view of a Noisy Friarbird with its prey, a Giant Wood Moth (Endoxyla cinereus); this is one example of prey in the end getting away (photo courtesy of M. Roderick)
[Tomalpin Woodlands, near Puddles, NSW, December 2022]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a Noisy Friarbird devouring a large flying insect
[Warrumbungle NP, NSW, December 2012]

Lateral/ventral view of a Noisy Friarbird taking a cicada (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, December 2012]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

noifriar_20170810.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
noifriar_20181014.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
noifriar_20200525_3.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
noifriar_20171101_2.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Territorial call(?) © MD
noifriar_20171101_3.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Territorial call(?) © MD
noifriar_20150920.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Q&A © MD
noifriar_20220816.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Various incl. distress calls © MD
noifriar_20200531.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Mass feeding event + departure © MD
noifriar_20181008_4.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Defending food source © MD
noifriar_20230923.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Defending food source © MD
noifriar_20181008.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Competing over food source © MD
noifriar_20181008_5.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Competing over food source © MD
noifriar_20200525.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Many competing over food source © MD
noifriar_20170912.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
Fighting over food source (against Blue-faced Honeyeaters) © MD
noifriar_20140423.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Annoyed call (with Galah) © MD
noifriar_20140502_5.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Stand-off (with Olive-backed Oriole) © MD
noifriar_20141018_4.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
Shut up by Galahs © MD
noifriar_art_20131120.m4a monachus
(SE QLD)
Feeding call? © ART
noifriar_20200929.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
"Currabubula" call © MD
noifriar_20200525_2.m4a monachus
(NW NSW)
? © MD
noifriar_20230216.mp3 monachus
(NW NSW)
? (juvenile on its own) © MD
Click here for more recordings

More Noisy Friarbird sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.