LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis)

I’ve never seen a Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis) in the wild and looking at the map in my Australian Bird Guide book suggests it is found a bit further north in my state (as well as the whole eastern seaboard – Queensland, New South Wales……..and the Northern Territory).

But you can get a good view of this small bird in The Great Aviary at Melbourne Zoo if you’re visiting Melbourne.  To be honest, I imagine it might blend in with the foliage quite a bit in the wild, depending on the type of tree it was inhabiting and my eyesight might be too poor to pick it out.  Having said that, several years of bird photography have made me surprisingly good as spotting small bird movements in trees now.

It has a medium-large crown and pale brown central nape and the sides of the neck are whitish.

It’s bare facial skin patch is distinctively blue-black, with a blackish eye.  I had to lighten the shadows or de-saturate the colour on most of the images in this post so you could see that faint blue tinge.

The beak is black and almost knife-like.

I think the image below might be a juvenile Little Friarbird as I can’t see the blue-black on the facial patch (or maybe it was just the bright sunlight on the day of shooting?  I’ve reduced the colour saturation so you can see more detail on this one, but the original shot did not show any facial colour).

LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis) – juvenile?

There are 4 Friarbirds in Australia.

The Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides) found in a small strip of coast to the far north of the country, the Silver-crowned Friarbird (Philemon argenticeps) found mainly in the Northern Territory coastal regions and the Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus) found on the whole eastern seaboard (as well as the bird in this post).