Crested Bellbird

(Oreoica gutturalis)

Also known as Dick-Dick the devil or a Crested Thrush.

Description:  A medium sized bird. A distinctive bird, adult males have grey heads with a raised black crest, white forehead and throat and a prominent black breast.. The rest of the body grey or brown with orange red eyes. Females lack black on face and bib. Females and immature birds are less prominently coloured than males. Singly or in pairs.

Size: 19-23cm

Voice: Distinctive, far carrying. The most outstanding features of the bellbird is its rich musical call. A series of staccato, bell like notes followed by a loud “plop”. Its most amazing aspect is that it is ventriloquial – it can throw its voice meaning it can sound a few metres away to your left then its 50m to your right then its behind you.

Feeding: mainly on grass frequenting caterpillars, invertebrates and some seeds. They usually forage on the ground or in low shrubs.

Habitat: from semi-arid coastlines to the arid Australian interior. Found in acacia scrublands, eucalypt woodlands, spinifex and saltbush plains

Location: Endemic to mainland Australia occurs west of the Great Dividing Range, through SA to the coast of WA.

Nests: Cup shaped, made of strips of bark, twigs, and leaves, often scraps of cloth, lined with dry grass and rootlets. Usually placed in the thick fork of a tree or in a hollow stump from one to three metres from the ground. Well known for habit of lining rim of nest with a number of semi paralysed caterpillars, which the bird injures and stores as a nest defense and maybe food for the young.

Eggs: 3 rarely 4, white spotted and blotched sepia and black.

Breeding: August to December form pairs for the breeding season. Both sexes incubate the eggs.

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys,,

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