Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Friarbird (Philemon moluccensis)


French: Polochion des Moluques German: Burulederkopf Spanish: Filemón moluqueño
Other common names: Buru Friarbird

Merops moluccensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Buru, Moluccas


See P. fuscicapillus. Sometimes treated as conspecific with P. plumigenis alone#R, although separate treatment strongly recommended by some authors#R. Monotypic.


Buru, in S Moluccas.

Descriptive notes

31–37 cm. Large to very large honeyeater with long, heavy and slightly decurved bill with no protuberance at base of upper mandible. Plumage is plain grey-brown above,... read more


Reported as giving wide range of vocalizations; calls thought to be of present species, and not of... read more


All wooded habitats: lowland and montane primary forest, monsoon forest, secondary forest and... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Occurs singly and in twos (possibly pairs), mainly in middle to upper levels of habitats; noisy, aggressive and conspicuous. read more


No information.


No information; presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Buru EBA. Common, with total population estimated at 920,000 individuals. Nevertheless, it is... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Black-faced Friarbird (Philemon moluccensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 January 2020).