Brown Froglet Crinia.signifera
Frog - Mt Eliza
20 to 30mm Crick, crick call Found everywhere, Mountains to coast, forest to grassland to suburbia Water’s edge or floating among vegetation

The Bell Bird Mystery

Bell Bird - Environment

The association of bellbirds with dying eucalypts, while apparently well known is not completely understood. Not all agree that the bellbird is totally responsible for the dieback that we observe in many of our parks and reserves. It is known that bellbirds drive out other bird species but after that the situation is not clear. It seems likely that the population of sap feeding insects increases significantly which affects the foliage. Normally the population would be kept under control by a diverse variety of birds that the Miner has driven out.


The Bell Miner, Manorina melanophrys, colloquially known as the Bellbird, is a colonial honeyeater
endemic to south-eastern Australia. They were given their common name because they feed almost exclusively on the dome-like coverings of certain psyllid bugs, referred to as "bell lerps," that feed on eucalyptus sap from the leaves. The "bell lerps" make these domes from their own honeydew secretions in order to protect themselves from predators and the environment.


Bell miners are aggressive birds that defend their colony area communally, excluding most other passerine species. They do this in order to protect their territory from other insect-eating birds that would eat the bell lerps they live off. Whenever bell miners undergo a population boom, the local forests die back due to increased lerp psyllid infestations.


In some Aboriginal tribes the Bell miner is considered a special delicacy which is highly valued. The Bell Miner is ritually sacrificed by having the head removed and pickled or embalmed while the body or "Peese" (Pronounced "piece") is eaten after being skinned. After being pickled the head is used in native medicines.

A Bougainville Skink

Skink

The little fellow depicted is a Bougainville Skink. During weeding at Ranelagh Rocks, Naturelinks staff found this small lizard which is quite rare in the area.