Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Bird calls / bird song
Crested Bellbird

Anyone who has either camped or lived in the scrublands of the Australian inland cannot help but be moved by the song of a Crested Bellbird ringing in the distance. Such a characteristic and distinctive sound is not easily forgotten. I have endeavoured within the confines of the five samples here to present a range of sounds, mainly songs from different parts of the country, but also a few more calls which will be unfamiliar to most people - you have to be quite near the bird to hear them. The six songs from tape #134 (samples 1 and 2) are all from the one male recorded SW of Longreach in Qld. Sample 3 has three songs of a male from Yowah in SW Qld. Unlike the Longreach bird he seemed to have quite a limited repertoire. You should notice in all these examples that each song starts off quite softly and gets louder and louder - this is very characteristic of Crested Bellbirds and makes it quite difficult to determine just how far away from you they are in the scrub - called ventriloquial in some books - utter nonsense of course, bellbirds can't "throw" their voice (can anybody?) but they do achieve a similar result. In sample 4 (tape #104) I've cheated a bit to fit everything in. There are short segments of six songs from the one male from Round Hill in NSW, all given in the one song session. By so doing, you can easily compare all the variations, well not all - he had a few more and a very varied repertoire. The sample finishes off with the "clicking" close contact call, usually given when there is an other bird present. Sound Sample 5 (tape #032) includes a range of close contact calls but I don't know in what context they were given - there was certainly another bird present. The harsh 'grrrrrrr' calls near the end sound like alarm calls, but one shouldn't guess.

419 Crested Bellbird 134-260
419 Crested Bellbird 134-350
419 Crested Bellbird 103-320
419 Crested Bellbird 104-240
419 Crested Bellbird 032-150

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