Bell Miners Raise a Major Alarm Bell

QuestaGame player Corinne likes to spend time in the Scheyville National Park, which is located in the northwestern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Recently she noticed a peaceful "tingling noise" coming from the trees. Fortunately she was able to photograph one of its contributors - an olive-green coloured bird about 18 centimetres long, with an orange bill and black forehead. She correctly identified it as a Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys).
But the tingling noise "could be heard everywhere," says Corinne (If you are unfamilier with the call of 'bellbirds', check out the embedded video). "The Bell Miners seem to be taking over the forest." Corinne also noticed that "a lot of trees seem to be dying in the area." Unfortunately, an increasing number of Bell Miners have been associated with dieback in some regions.

As Corinne points out, "Bell Miners have an impact on tree health, as they chase away the little birds that normally remove harmful bacteria from the trees." 

The exact ecology of the region, of course, could be more complicated than the correlation between Bell Miners and dying trees. But Corrine's observation is important and something the Scheyville National Park community will need to keep an eye on. 

A Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys). Image credit: GQ player - Corinne

A Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys). Image credit: QG player - Andrew Mc