Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Tanimbar Friarbird (Philemon plumigenis)


French: Polochion des Tanimbar German: Tanimbarlederkopf Spanish: Filemón de las Tanimbar

Tropidorhynchus plumigenis

G. R. Gray

, 1858,

Kai Islands, Moluccas


See P. fuscicapillus. In past, usually treated as race of P. moluccensis, but this arrangement inconsistent biogeographically and morphologically with current treatment of other Moluccan congeners, as P. subcorniculatus and P. moluccensis are more similar to each other than either is to present species#R. In past, birds of Tanimbar sometimes separated as race timorlaoensis, differing merely in bill averaging slightly thinner#R. Monotypic.


Kai Is (Kai Kecil, Kai Dulah and Kai Besar) and Tanimbar Is (Larat and Yamdena), in E Banda Sea.

Descriptive notes

31–37 cm. Large to very large honeyeater with long, heavy and slightly decurved bill with slight protuberance at base of upper mandible. Plumage is plain grey-brown... read more


Very vocal. In Kai Is main call a loud, bugling antiphonal duet in which first bird gives loud... read more


All wooded habitats, including forest and mangroves and also in agricultural land; in Tanimbars,... 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.


No information.



Status and conservation

Not assessed. Thought not to be globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Banda Sea Islands EBA. Conservation status of this species not certain, as... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Tanimbar Friarbird (Philemon plumigenis). 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 28 February 2020).