Australasian Figbird (species: Sphecotheres vieilloti) in Bundjalung NP (Gaia Guide)
Sphecotheres vieilloti
Australasian Figbird

©Alec Brennan: Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti)

©Brian Gratwicke: Male Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti)

©magdalena_b on Flickr: Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Oriolidae
Genus Sphecotheres
Species Sphecotheres vieilloti
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It is sexually dimorphic, and the racial differences are almost entirely limited to the male. Males of all subspecies have a black tail with broad white tips to the outer rectrices, white crissum, blackish primaries, a black head, distinct bright red facial skin, a black bill with a red base, and pinkish legs. In the nominate subspecies, the body is largely olive-green, and the throat, neck and chest are grey. The subspecies cucullatus, ashbyi and flaviventris are yellowish olive-green above, and bright yellow below (including throat). The last subspecies, salvadorii, resembles previous, but with a grey throat, collar and chest similar to the nominate subspecies, thereby giving it an intermediate appearance not unlike some hybrids between nominate and flaviventris in Australia.

Females are drab-coloured, being dull brownish above, and white below with strong dark streaking. They have greyish facial skin, and a greyish-black bill.

Juveniles resemble females, but the streaking below is typically not as strong. (Wikipedia)


  • From 27 cm to 29.5 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti)

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is native to a wide range of wooded habitats in northern and eastern Australia, southern Papua New Guinea, and the Kai Islands in Indonesia. (Wikipedias)


Australasian Figbirds are largely frugivorous, but also take small insects, nectar and small seeds. While largely a resident species (although the southern population may be migratory), it is nomadic in response to the availability of food. (Wikipedia)

Web resources