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Old World Orioles and Figbirds: Oriolidae

Australasian Figbird (sphecotheres Vieilloti): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Australasian figbirds are stout, fairly short-tailed figbirds with olive-green upperparts, a gray throat, buff-red bare eye skin, and a black head. They also have black primary feathers and tails. Adults are 10.0 to 11.5 inches (25 to 29 centimeters) long and weigh between 4.0 and 4.5 ounces (110 and 130 grams).

Geographic range: They are located on the coastal northern and eastern Australia (Kimberley Division to Illawarra district), southeast New Guinea, and Kai Islands (in the Banda Sea).

Habitat: Australasian figbirds are found at the edges of rainforests, gallery vine forests, mangroves, and gardens.

Australasian figbirds are seasonally nomadic birds, they move around as fruit ripens on trees in different areas. (© Wayne Lawler/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Australasian figbirds feed on small, soft fruit such as figs, native cherries, and ink weed and tobacco bushes. They also eat guavas, bananas, and mulberries. They usually feed in tree crowns.

Behavior and reproduction: Australasian figbirds live in communities of loose, noisy, locally nomadic (wandering) flocks of up to thirty to fifty birds in the tree canopy. They often perch high on bare branches and power lines. Their calls are loud, single- or double-note whistles. They are monogamous birds, usually breeding in small groups that defend a small territory during a breeding season from spring to summer (October to February). Nests are shallow, fragile, and saucer-like, and are built of plant fiber and tendrils. Females usually lay three eggs. Both parents share all nesting activities, while other birds may help out.

Australasian figbirds and people: There is no known significant relationship between people and Australasian figbirds.

Conservation status: Australasian figbirds have been able to adapt quickly to habitats that have been altered by people. They are common and under no threat of diminished populations. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsOld World Orioles and Figbirds: Oriolidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Australasian Figbird (sphecotheres Vieilloti): Species Accounts, Eurasian Golden Oriole (oriolus Oriolus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET,