Bellbird (korimako)

Wherever you are in the Abel Tasman National Park you are likely to see or hear the bellbird.

They feed on fruit, nectar and invertebrates and are very adaptable to different habitats and food sources. Like tūī, bellbirds are able to travel long distances to find seasonally abundant foods.

Bellbirds feed on the beech honeydew (or lerp to Australians), which is produced by a small scale insect probing into the phloem cells of the beech tree. What the insect cannot consume is excreted onto the bark via a white waxy thread and is a welcome food for bellbird, tūī, silvereyes and a range of insects as well.

Bellbirds are part of the family Meliphagidae which has more than 180 species, all in the southwest Pacific, and with more than 40 species native to Australia.

Within New Zealand there are four subspecies of bellbird and with a little practice you can distinguish the sexes; the female bellbird is less green, lacks the purple sheen on its head and has a pale stripe across its cheek.

Bellbird (korimako)

Bellbird (korimako). Photo: New Zealand Birds Online

Bellbird (korimako) calls on New Zealand Birds Online.

More info on New Zealand Birds Online.