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22

Australasian Figbird

(Sphecotheres viridis)
Alternate name(s): "Figbird", "Mulberry-bird", "Banana-bird*"
Size: 28-29 cm
Weight: 100-150 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 Australasian Figbird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "vieilloti"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Australasian Figbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male Australasian Figbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Lateral view of a male Australasian Figbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Lateral view of a male Australasian Figbird issuing its call
[Near Old Bar, NSW, September 2011]

Near-dorsal view of a male Australasian Figbird
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a male Australasian Figbird (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Mount McEuen, QLD, September 2017]

Dorsal view of a male Australasian Figbird (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead, QLD, July 2017]

Dorsal view of a male Australasian Figbird conveniently displaying its upperwing pattern for study (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[The Spit, Gold Coast, QLD, August 2015]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Australasian Figbird with its plumage ruffled by wind from behind
[Deepwater NP, QLD, July 2009]

Male (right) and female (left) Australasian Figbirds high up on a dead branch
[Deepwater NP, QLD, July 2009]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Australasian Figbird (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead, QLD, February 2017]

Immature Australasian Figbird in a lemon-scented gumtree in our garden, 20 km East of Narrabri, NSW
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2013]

Two juvenile Australasian Figbirds, probably still very young
[Deepwater NP, QLD, July 2009]

Frontal view of a fledgling Australasian Figbird, just hours out of its nest; this chick still had problems balancing properly on its perch
[Bundjalung NP, NSW, February 2012]

More lateral view of the same fledgling Australasian Figbird as shown above
[Bundjalung NP, NSW, February 2012]

Fledgling Figbird begging for food
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, February 2008]

Here is one of the Figbird parents with a berry...
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, February 2008]

... and in she goes! Figbird feeding the chick
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, February 2008]

Race "flaviventris"

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Australasian Figbird preening (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Cairns, QLD, March 2015]

Frontal view of a male Australasian Figbird in captivity (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Transition between races "vieilloti" and "flaviventris"

The birds shown in the following where observed near Townsville, QLD, in the transition region between the two races, where males have partly green and partly yellow breasts.

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Australasian Figbird; photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

More dorsal view of a male Australasian Figbird, with a female above him; photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

Frontal view of a female Australasian Figbird; photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

FEMALE

This frontal view shows a female Australasian Figbird hunched while relaxing; photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

In this photo one can clearly see the half-green, half-yellow front of the male Australasian Figbird
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of an immature Australasian Figbird (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, January 2011]

Race "ashbyi"

MALE

Frontal view of a male Australasian Figbird
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a pair of Australasian Figbirds; male on the left, female on the right (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, September 2017]

Group of Australasian Figbirds feeding high up in a tree
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Small flock

Note that immature birds are nomadic.

Frontal view of a male Australasian Figbird issuing its call (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Moree, NSW, August 2013]

Food, Diet

As their name already suggests, Australasian Figbirds feed on native figs, but also other fruit. They will also take nectar and insects.

Male Australasian Figbird feasting on fruit
[Deepwater NP, QLD, July 2009]

Male Australasian Figbird feasting on fruit (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Pacific Pines, Gold Coast, QLD, July 2009]

Male Australasian Figbird checking out a mulberry tree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Female Australasian Figbird taking a mulberry
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Gulp...
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

... gone!
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Female Australasian Figbird taking fruit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead Reserve, Anstead, QLD, March 2017]

Australasian Figbirds "vieilloti"/"flaviventris" in their "land of milk and honey"... - these look like a male (centre), female (top) and immature (bottom); photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2011]

This photo of an immature Australasian Figbird may suggest that they do not only take nectar and fruit, but also eat petals of flowers (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead, QLD, February 2017]

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.

figbird_20140525_4.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
figbird_20161116_5.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD
figbird_20161116_4.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
Competing for food © MD
figbird_20161116.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
figbird_art_20131218.mp3 vieilloti
(SE QLD)
Various © ART
figbird_20140526.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
? © MD
figbird_20140525_2.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
? © MD
figbird_20140525.mp3 vieilloti
(NW NSW)
? © MD
 
figbird_20140818_2.m4a ashbyi
(Pine Creek, NT)
Contact call(?) © MD
figbird_20140818_3.m4a ashbyi
(Pine Creek, NT)
Extended contact call(?) © MD
figbird_20140817.m4a ashbyi
(Darwin, NT)
Extended contact call(?) © MD
figbird_20140817_3.m4a ashbyi
(Top End, NT)
Q&A? (with Yellow Oriole) © MD
figbird_20140817_2.m4a ashbyi
(Darwin, NT)
? © MD
figbird_20140818_5.m4a ashbyi
(Pine Creek, NT)
? © MD
figbird_20140818_7.m4a ashbyi
(Pine Creek, NT)
? © MD
figbird_20140818.m4a ashbyi
(Pine Creek, NT)
? © MD

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.

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