Crested thrush, “Dick-Dick- the Devil”
The crested bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis ) is a medium-sized passerine bird in the family Oreoicidae. It is native to drier parts of Australia where its typical habitats are acacia scrublands, eucalypt woodlands, spinifex and saltbush plains, and dunes. The male is about 20 cm (8 in) long and has a grey head, a black crest and breast, and a grey or olive brown body. The female and juvenile are similar but the colours are more muted and the black breast is lacking. The distinctive call is a high pitched bell-like sound, audible at some distance. Sometimes a pair of birds duet.Show More
The crested bellbird feeds on seeds and small invertebrates, foraging on the ground or in low bushes. The deep, cup-shaped nest is usually within a couple of metres of the ground, built in the fork of a branch or in a crevice in a stump. It is made from small twigs and bark and lined with finer material. Up to four eggs are laid and these are incubated by both parents. Overall this bird is quite common, but in some regions, such as Victoria, it is threatened by fragmentation of its habitatShow Less
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Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores (seed predators) feed on the seeds of pla...
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Serial monogamy is a mating system in which a pair bonds only for one breeding season.
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NoNot a migrant
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The Crested bellbird is native to Australia and is a medium-sized passerine member of the family Oreoicidae that lives on mainland Australia in dry habitats. Its rich musical call is one of its most remarkable features, being a series of bell-like staccato, then a loud ‘plop’. It is also surprising that this sound is ventriloquial - the bellbird can throw its voice, sounding as though it is off to your left a few meters, then fifty meters on your right, then behind you, making it difficult to establish the bird’s location. There is little information about the Crested bellbird’s lifespan.
Crested bellbirds are endemic to mainland Australia, occurring west of the Great Dividing Range, in tropical northern Australia in the south, in South Australia and across to Western Australia’s west coast. These birds inhabit both semi-arid coastlines and the arid interior of the country and are found in eucalypt woodlands, acacia shrublands, spinifex and chenopod (saltbush) dunes or plains. Crested bellbirds are either sedentary or are locally nomadic in regions that are drier.
Crested bellbirds forage in low shrubs or on the ground, rarely perching high. They are mainly solitary and sedentary but occur in pairs in the breeding season. They may be seen in mixed feeding groups alongside Chestnut-rumped thornbills and Red-capped robins. They are very shy birds and spend much of their time foraging in scrublands. Their flight pattern is strong, undulating and low to the ground. Although being usually quiet and unobtrusive, the crested bellbird male has a very loud, distinctive call and ringing song, able to be heard as far as half a kilometer away.
The Crested bellbird is serially monogamous and forms pairs only for the breeding season. Pairs make a nest of twigs, leaves or bark in the shape of a cup, usually in a fork of a tree. A pair has a permanent territory which averages three to four hectares. The female is very plain and only sings with the male occasionally. The breeding season varies but usually is from August until December. One to four eggs are laid, and both parents incubate them for about 16 days. The nestling period for Crested bellbird chicks lasts approximately 12 days.
Threats to Crested bellbirds include the decline of its range as a result of land clearing and being hunted by cats and foxes.
According to IUCN, Crested bellbird is locally common throughout its range. According to the Department of the Environment and Energy (Australian Government) resource, the total size of the Crested bellbird’s southern population is 2,500,000 breeding pairs. Currently Crested bellbirds are classified as Least Concern (LC) and their numbers today are decreasing.