AppearanceMeasuring 31–36 cm in length, the noisy friarbird is a large honeyeater with dull brownish grey upperparts and paler brown-grey underparts. Its black head is completely bald apart from tufts of feathers under the chin and along the eyebrow, which is how it came to be so named. It can be distinguished by its rounded knob above the black bill, which is visible at distance. It has dark blue-black legs and red eyes.
As its name suggests, it is noisy; one of its calls has been likened to "four o'clock".
DistributionThe natural range is from the vicinity of Lakes Entrance and the Murray valley in Victoria, north through New South Wales and Queensland to Cape York. In New Guinea it is restricted to the Trans Fly in the south of the island where it is locally abundant.
BehaviorIn southern parts of eastern Australia the species is migratory, moving north to overwinter and returning south in the spring. Large aggregations of noisy friarbirds are possible, often in association with little friarbirds. At such times, the constant cackling and chattering of the noisy friarbird can fill the forest with sound. The calls are used to identify an individual's feeding territory, and also announce the presence of food sources worth defending to other birds - not necessarily friarbirds alone. Their diet consists of nectar, insects and fruit. The consumption of commercially grown fruit, such as grapes and berries, can bring noisy friarbirds into direct conflict with humans who may regard them as pests under those circumstances.
HabitatThe natural range is from the vicinity of Lakes Entrance and the Murray valley in Victoria, north through New South Wales and Queensland to Cape York. In New Guinea it is restricted to the Trans Fly in the south of the island where it is locally abundant.
ReproductionBreeding may occur from July to January, with one or two broods during this time. The nest is a large deep cup with an inverted lip or rim and made of bark and grass hanging from a horizontal branch 1–3 metres above the ground and usually well-hidden. Two to four eggs are laid, 22 x 33 mm and buff- to pale-pink splotched with darker pink-brown or purplish colours.
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