Crested Bellbird

Did you know?

The nests of Crested Bellbirds often have live, hairy caterpillars placed around the rim. it has been suggested that the adults gather them as a food storage for the sitting bird or as a defence for the nest.

Loud, liquid call. Bell-like 'did-did did-did-dit'. The calls are sometimes ventriloqual.
Facts and Figures
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Breeding season: 
August to December
Clutch Size: 
1 to 4
16 days
Nestling Period: 
12 days
Conservation Status
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Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Crested Bellbird is a medium-sized bird. Adult males have grey heads with a raised black crest, a white forehead and throat, and a prominent black breast. The rest of the body is grey or brown and they have orange-red eyes. Females and immature birds are less prominently coloured than the males, lacking the black breast and having a smaller, unraised black crest. This species is also known as the Crested Thrush, as well as having names such as 'Dick-Dick-the Devil'.

Similar species: 

The male Crested Bellbird is unmistakable, with his 'punk-like' crest. Females and juveniles are similar to Wedge-bills and the Western Whipbird, but have the slight black crest or stripe at the back of the head. The calls are also distinctive.

Where does it live?

The Crested Bellbird is endemic to mainland Australia. It occurs west of the Great Dividing Range, in the south of tropical northern Australia, and through South Australia to the west coast of Western Australia.


The Crested Bellbird occurs from semi-arid coastlines to the arid Australia interior. They are found in acacia shrublands, eucalypt woodlands, spinifex and chenopod (saltbush) plains or dunes.

Seasonal movements: 

The Crested Bellbird is sedentary or locally nomadic in drier regions.

What does it do?

The Crested Bellbird feeds on invertebrates and some seeds. They forage on the ground or in low shrubs. They are usually solitary or occur in pairs during the breeding season. Sometimes they occur in mixed feeding flocks with Chestnut-rumped Thornbills and Red-capped Robins.


The Crested Bellbird forms pairs for the breeding season and makes a cup-shaped nest of twigs, bark or leaves, usually placed in the fork of a tree. Both sexes will incubate the eggs.

Living with us

The range of the Crested Bellbird has contracted because of habitat destruction from land clearance, being particularly susceptible to fragmentation. Cats also pose a threat throughout its range. It is listed as threatened in Victoria.

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