17 July 2010


Korimako, the New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura), move quickly, seldom pausing for more than a moment. They're often foraging among foliage where they're partly (and sometimes completely) obscured. I still don't have a photo I'm happy with, but this, from the garden next to my place, is one of the better attempts. Unfortunately, it doesn't show the stronger colours (mostly yellows and greens) on the back and wings.

[15 July 2010; Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L, ISO 400, 1/1250 at f4]

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor


Lesley said...

Pete, if I could get a photograph half as good as that I'd be over the moon!

Six or seven years ago I heard, for the first time, a korimako singing in the neighbourhood during winter - a most unusual sound for the city. Presumably it went back to the nearby hills during the summer. Nowadays there seem to be several birds about all year round, singing from trees in various gardens. It's a thrill when I hear one in our magnolia tree, but I can barely see it, let alone photograph it.

Zhoen said...

Before I read you text, I was thinking these little guys must be near impossible to see. And you got this clean photograph of this tiny dinosaur.

beadbabe49 said...

He's lovely and the soft moss green of his breast is beautiful

robin andrea said...

This is a beautiful photograph, pete.

pohanginapete said...

Thank you, Lesley. I've often heard claims that korimako move lower during the winter, and I have no reason to doubt it (if anything, it tallies with my experience too), but I'm unaware of any research to test it. I can think of various plausible hypotheses to explain the local migration if it does happen, but plausibility isn't proof. Perhaps an MSc there for someone?

Zhoen, it's almost always the call that first says one's hanging around. Incidentally, these are marginally smaller than a European starling.

Beadbabe, some people think of them as drab, but I think the colours are beautiful.

Robin, thanks :^)

Lydia said...

You say "unfortunately" when discussing the colors on the back and wings, but I am awestruck at the colors that are here, especially the red eyes. I think this bird has different feathers than I've ever seen...almost looks like fur.

pohanginapete said...

Lydia, most people never get to see them close enough to distinguish the colours, let alone the texture of the feathers. It's one of the reasons I love posting these photos, and photos of invertebrates — a chance to show these things to people who might otherwise not have the opportunity or inclination, but who nevertheless appreciate them when they do see them.