Coconut Well, WA

Little Friarbird

Still on the road trip to Broome, and while staying at Coconutz BnB in Coconut Wells just outside of Broome, I saw a plethora of bird life just outside my eco tent. One of these birds was the Little Friarbird, or should I say, many Little Friarbirds. They were a great opportunity to practice some more bird photography with the Sony 70-200mm G Master II and the Sony 2x Teleconverter.

Photographed using

Little Friarbird

The Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis) is a species of bird belonging to the family Meliphagidae. It is endemic to Australia, meaning it is found only in that country. This bird is named for its appearance, with a small body size and a prominent bare patch of skin on its throat, resembling a friar’s hood.

The Little Friarbird is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 22 to 27 centimeters (8.7 to 10.6 inches) in length. It has a distinctively large, downward-curving beak, which is black in color. The plumage is mostly brown or grayish-brown, with a lighter underbelly and a white streak above the eye. One of its most notable features is the patch of yellow bare skin on its throat, which is surrounded by black feathers.

These birds are commonly found in various habitats throughout Australia, including woodlands, eucalypt forests, savannahs, and coastal areas. They are adaptable and can tolerate both arid and more humid environments.

Little Friarbirds are primarily nectarivorous, feeding on the nectar of various flowering plants. They also consume insects, fruits, and berries. They have a unique feeding technique known as “syringing,” where they immerse their entire head into flowers to access the nectar. They are often seen foraging alone or in small groups.

Little Friarbirds are known for their loud and distinctive calls. Their vocalizations consist of a variety of harsh, croaking sounds and melodic whistling notes.

Breeding season for Little Friarbirds typically occurs from July to December. They construct large, bowl-shaped nests using twigs, bark, and grass, usually located high in trees. The female lays 2 to 3 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 14 to 15 days. After hatching, the chicks are cared for and fed by their parents until they fledge and become independent.

The Little Friarbird is not currently considered globally threatened. Its population is stable, and it has a wide distribution across Australia. It is relatively common in suitable habitats, and its adaptability to different environments helps ensure its survival.

The Little Friarbird is an interesting and distinctive bird that contributes to the biodiversity of Australia. Its unique appearance, vocalizations, and feeding habits make it a fascinating species to observe for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

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