Noisy Friarbird

Did you know?

The Noisy Friarbird has a naked head and a large casque (bump) on its bill.

Noisy, harsh and discordant; deep honking sound: 'tobacco' or 'four o'clock'. Also a sharp 'owk owk'.
Facts and Figures
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Breeding season: 
August to March
Clutch Size: 
2 to 4, usually 3
18 days
Nestling Period: 
18 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

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. It is a noisy and conspicuous bird mainly seen in small groups, usually up in trees.

Similar species: 

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.

Where does it live?

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


The Noisy Friarbird prefers 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.

Seasonal movements: 

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

What does it do?

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. Often feed in noisy flocks, and 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.

Living with us

The Noisy Friarbird can be a pest of orchards. Often found in remnant forest patches after agricultural clearing.

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