Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

New Britain Friarbird (Philemon cockerelli)


French: Polochion de Nouvelle-Bretagne German: Melanesien-Lederkopf Spanish: Filemón de Nueva Bretaña

Philemon cockerelli

P. L. Sclater

, 1877,

New Britain


See P. fuscicapillus. Sometimes treated as conspecific with P. buceroides. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. umboi E. J. O. Hartert, 1926 – Umboi, in Bismarck Archipelago.
  • P. c. cockerelli P. L. Sclater, 1877 – New Britain and Duke of York I, in Bismarck Archipelago.
  • Descriptive notes

    33–35 cm; male 139–147g, two females 153 g and 177 g. Large, rather drab honeyeater, with long neck, and fairly long, heavy and gently decurved bill (with no... read more


    One of noisiest birds on New Britain, vocalizations ranging from rasping sounds to bugle-like notes... read more


    Most wooded habitats, from lowland to mid-montane rainforest, forest edges, tall secondary forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes nectar and arthropods. Frequents upper levels of vegetation, mainly canopy. Seen to forage in flowering trees and epiphytes,... read more


    Appears to breed in late dry season to wet season on N coast and in middle of dry season on S coast: eggs recorded late Sept to early Feb,... read more


    No information. Probably resident, with some local movements.  

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in New Britain and New Ireland EBA. Common to abundant in lowlands of New Britain, but less common in mountains. No... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). New Britain Friarbird (Philemon cockerelli). 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).