Bellbirds are the most widespread and familiar honeyeater in the South Island, and are also common over much of the North Island. Their song is a welcome sound in mainland forests that otherwise may have little native bird song. Although they have a brush-like tongue which is used to reach deeply into flowers to reach nectar bellbirds also feed on fruits and insects. In feeding on nectar they play an important ecological role in pollinating the flowers of many native trees and shrubs. Subsequently, when feeding on the fruits that result from this pollination they have a role in dispersing the seeds, and so they assist in the regeneration of the forest in at least two ways.
Bellbirds are green with a short, curved bill, slightly forked tail, and noisy whirring, fast and direct flight. Adult males are olive green, slightly paler on the underparts, with a head tinted purple; wings and tail blackish. Female are browner with narrow white-yellow stripe across the cheek from the base of the bill, and bluish gloss on top of head. Adults of both sexes have wine-red eyes. Juveniles are similar to females, but with yellowish cheek stripe, brown eyes and lacking the bluish gloss on the head.
Voice: song varies regionally but is ringing notes without grunts or wheezes. Alarm call a rapidly repeated harsh “yeng,”. The famous bell notes noted by Sir Joseph Banks in Queen Charlotte Sound on James Cook first voyage to New Zealand are only heard when many birds are present at once, mostly at dawn and dusk in places of high bellbird density with few other bird species.
I want to showcase our animal kingdom. It runs from Tuesday New Zealand time and is weekly. You can join in anytime at all over the week. You can post your furry friends (babies), wild animals, birds, insects and butterflies. Even reptiles are welcome.
Just use this logo and link back to this blog.
I look forward to seeing all the different animals around the world
Thanks for visiting.