2016 Photo competetion winners

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

This year's winning photographs have been decided. Click here (/photocomp2016) to see the wonder..

Great new ferry fares for Supporters

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Thanks to our ferry company, 360 Discovery (https://www.fullers.co.nz/destinations/tiritiri-mata..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island has been recognis..

Reports for 2015-2016

Date posted: 04-Jun-2016

Reports for the 2015-16 breeding season for kokako and hihi have been added to the website. ..

Guided walks for Photographers

Date posted: 07-Apr-2016

If your interest is in wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Islan..

Nukes Aloud on Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 07-Feb-2016

Our 2016 musical event will take place on the 5th March. This year we are hosting the Nukes, a d..

New video from DOC

Date posted: 06-Feb-2016

Staff at the Department of Conservation have produced a stunning new video of the Island to temp..

New Help Page

Date posted: 24-Nov-2015

We have a new help page on our website where we will occasionally post requests for assistance. ..

New chairperson for the Supporters

Date posted: 24-Sep-2015

At our Annual General Meeting, held on Monday 21st September, a new chairperson and committee we..

New edition of field guide published

Date posted: 07-May-2015

Anyone interested in New Zealand birds will be delighted to hear the latest edition of H..

Bellbird

Scientific name:

 Anthornis melanura melanura

Maori Name:

 Korimako

 

 

Conservation status:

 Endemic. Not threatened.

Mainland status:

 Common throughout NZ south of Waikato

Size:  20cm, 34g (males), 26g (females)

Lifespan:

 Oldest recorded 8+ years

Breeding:

 September – January

Diet:

 Mainly nectar and fruit, some invertebrates

First introduced to Tiri:

 Naturally present


The bellbird is a member of the honeyeater family, and as such has a curved bill and a long tongue, frayed at the end like a brush, which is used to reach deeply into flowers and drink nectar. Like the other New Zealand honeyeater, the tūī, they feed on a mixture of nectar, fruit, and insects.  

The male bellbird is a dark olive green, paler on underparts, with a glossy purple head. The female has a similar plumage but none of the purple gloss and has a narrow white stripe across the cheek from the bill. Both sexes have red eyes. The juveniles are like the female but have brown eyes and the cheek stripe is yellowish. Bellbirds have a short curved bill and slightly forked tail.

The bellbird is named for the bell-like quality of its song and when many birds sing at once, mostly during the dawn chorus and at dusk, the famous bell notes are impressive. The song consists of loud clear liquid ringing notes interspersed with grunts and wheezes, not dissimilar to the tūī's grunts and wheezes but slightly more refined. The alarm call is a loud harsh note repeated very rapidly.

Bellbirds have always existed on Tiritiri Matangi and the population continues to grow every year. They have flown across to the Whangaparaoa Peninsular from Tiritiri Matangi and have been observed to be breeding in Manly and in Shakespear Regional Park.

Learn more about bellbirds by visiting New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Kay Milton © (male bellbird, top right), Toby Ross (female bellbird, bottom left) ©


References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.