The lovely sound bellbirds or Bell Miners (Manorina melanophrys) make in bushland may be a sign of something more sinister going on... such as Eucalyptus trees dying. You might be wondering how something as small as bellbirds can affect something as large as Eucalyptus trees. Bellbirds are small honeyeaters associated with tiny insects called psyllids that feed on leaves of gum trees. Infestations of psyllids cause a disease called 'dieback'. Unfortunately, Bell Miners encourage psyllid infestations by protecting them from other birds and 'farming' them. The works to restore the bushland and creekline as part of our Simmos Beach project in Campbelltown, have meant that Bell Miners have moved on and reduced in number. You would be lucky if you heard a bell bird there these days. Hopefully, the diversity of bird life will continue to increase and the magnificent remnant Eucalyptus trees throughout the site will be safe from 'dieback'.
Short video of Robert Dixon from Georges Riverkeeper explaining why Bell miners are so closely associated with eucalyptus dieback.