AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at the F..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

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.