Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

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

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018

(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-kokako-story-celebrating-21-years-..

Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KŌKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

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.