Archive for April, 2013

Three Wattled Bellbird Courtship

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The usual experience with Three Wattled Bellbirds here is that you will be right under a tree getting blasted by their super loud bonk call and crane your neck and fail to spot the bird. About a week ago we found a young adult male calling about 30 feet high up a tree on a small bare branch in the subcanopy and lucky enough there was an unobstructed view from a spot at the base of a nearby oak tree. Almost like a lek which it might be, the male was faithful to this spot and was visited by other bellbirds, in the video footage one was another adult male and the other was either a female or a juvenile male (immature males have the same yellow green plumage as the females).

This young adult male bellbird still has spots of dull dirty green plumage mixed in with the adult brown and white plumage. You can compare him with the “cleaner” older male on the video.

Males can be heard calling from up to a half a mile during breeding season along a narrow band of elevation here at Mount Totumas from roughly between 1900m – 2000m. This site was only a 10 minute walk from the homestead so the video is a composite of about 4 visits to the base of that old oak tree, setting up the spotting scope and holding a point and shoot camera up to the eyepiece.