Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)


French: Polochion criard German: Lärmlederkopf Spanish: Filemón chillón

Merops corniculatus


, 1790,

Nova Hollandia = Endeavour River, Queensland, north-east Australia


Proposed race ellioti (N Queensland) is based on an intergrade between nominate and monachus; clamans (SE Queensland) included in monachus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. corniculatus (Latham, 1790) – S New Guinea (Wassi Kussa R E to Oriomo R) and NE Australia (NE Queensland from about Weipa–Iron Range S, extending inland to middle reaches of Mitchell R and Staaten R and upper Norman R, to Mackay).
  • P. c. monachus (Latham, 1801) – E & SE Australia from CE Queensland (Mackay region) S, extending inland to c. 144–145° E, to CS Victoria (Gippsland).
  • Descriptive notes

    30–35 cm; male 88–136 g and female 85–103 g (monachus), male 87–93g and two females 87 g and 94 g (nominate). Large friarbird, adult with... read more


    Can be very noisy, almost deafening when in large numbers; considered one of noisiest birds in... read more


    Wide range of habitats in Australia, most commonly in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, pollen, arthropods (mainly insects, also spiders), fruit, and lerp and manna; reported also as taking eggs and nestlings of Common... read more


    Few data for New Guinea, recently fledged young Dec; in Australia breeds Aug–Mar, in NE Queensland clutches Aug–Dec, in New... read more


    Complex. Patterns of movements appear to differ between races, though for both often appear... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In New Guinea, generally fairly common to very common and locally abundant; common in Australia. No estimates of total abundance, but recorded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus). 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 25 February 2020).