Korimako / bellbird
Wherever you are in the Abel Tasman 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, silver-eyes 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. 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.
The bellbird is often the most common bird heard on the live microphone from Motuareronui Adele Island.
Bird courtesy of NZ birds online
Photo courtesy of Ruth Bollongino www.fernphotos.com
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