Helmeted Friarbird

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Philemon buceroides


Size 31-37cm.

The largest of the friarbirds, with dark bare skin around the face. A back sloping knob on the top edge of the bill, and a silvery/brown crown. Red eye. Dark brown back, wings and tail. Silvery/fawn brown on the throat, breast and underparts. Fairly harsh voice, often quite loud and noisy.

Feeding Habits

Feed mainly on nectar and native fruits. Sometimes they also eat insects, found amongst leaves and bark crevices or taken in flight. Seasonally nomadic. Planting bottlebrush or grevilleas will encourage these birds into your garden.


Nest is a deep cup of bark strips, grass and rootlets, slung from a horizontal fork high in foliage. Female builds the nest, and incubates the eggs, but both sexes feed the young.

Places to Look

Open woodlands, vine thickets, mangroves, and gardens. Wherever there are flowering trees and shrubs, as they tend to follow the blossoming and fruiting flora.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville

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