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A noisy visitor

February 9, 2020

We were surprised to hear the burbling call of a Noisy Friarbird at our place the other day. We then spotted a lone bird perched high in a dead tree, which didn’t make for great photography, especially as it only stayed for a very short time. The friarbird is an uncommon visitor to this district – we have only recorded it here eight times in the last twenty years, always from October to April since it is mostly migratory in the southern part of its range, heading north as far as central Queensland for winter.

The Noisy Friarbird’s bald black head (the origin of the “friar” tag – think of a monk’s tonsure) and the knob on its strong bill distinguish it from the other Victorian species, the Little Friarbird, and from the other large honeyeaters, the wattlebirds.

It feeds on nectar, insects and fruit and can gather in noisy squabbling groups among blossoms, often with other honeyeaters. Considering its gregarious nature it seems our lone bird must have been scouting out new territory, or had simply lost its way.

The call, recorded locally, can be heard by clicking on the audio icon below.

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