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Little Friarbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Steve Schoech
Along the road across the Kimberly, Australia, May 2008
Philemon citreogularis


Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Taromeo, S.E. Queensland, Australia

25–29 cms (9¾-11½ in)

  • Brownish-grey above
  • Paler grey on neck and collar
  • A bare blue-grey face patch
  • Pale greyish white below with fine white streaking on the breast.

Females are slightly smaller, but otherwise similar.
Juveniles are browner above, with yellow chin and throat

Their scientific name "citreogularis" means yellow throat but it is only the juveniles that have it.


Australasia: found in New Guinea and Australia: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia.



Mobbing an Australian Magpie
Photo © by aussietrev
Queensland, Australia, October 2008

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. papuensis:
  • P. c. sordidus:
  • P. c. citreogularis:

Four other subspecies: occidentalis, breda, carpenteriae, johnstoni[2] are not recognised by all authorities.


Open forests, tropical and eucalypt woodlands, near rivers; swamp-woodlands; mangroves; orchards, parks, gardens.



Their diet is mainly invertebrates and nectar, also flowers, fruit and seeds. They choose shady treetops to forage in.


Both parents build the nest, a large deep open cup, which is lined with soft materials such as fine grass, always associated with water. The female alone incubates the eggs, but both parents feed the young.


In the south only as a summer breeding migrant, elsewhere somewhat nomadic.


They have a variety of calls and can be rather noisy. Their calls are not well documented.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Sept 2018)
  4. Birds in Backyards
  5. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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