Bell Miner Manorina melanophrys

This page is a chapter in the book Honeyeaters.
Bell Miner
Scientific Classification
Species:M. melanophrys
Binomial name
Manorina melanophrys


The Bell Miner is the smallest of the Miners. It is mainly olive-green in colour with bright orange feet and yellow bill and a red cone-shaped patch of skin behind the eye. The wing coverts and outer primaries are dark grey.

[top]Behavioural characteristics

The Bell Miner is a very aggressive and noisy bird. It can be rather secretive, staying behind foliage, and is usually heard before it is seen. Feeds mainly on nectar and tree-dwelling insects and sometimes on fruit. Often chases other competitors away and takes over a group of trees until all the insects and blossom have been eaten.

Bell Miners have been associated with the dieback of Eucalypts in sclerophyll forests in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.[1]

[top]Distribution and habitat

Lives near east coast from south-east Queensland to the greater Melbourne area in Temperate rainforest and woodland with good understory or near rivers and other watercourses.


Breeds all year round but mainly in spring and summer in loose colonies. Pairs for life and sometimes has non-breeding or juvenile birds as "helpers", assisting with nesting and raising young.


Clear, far carrying bell like "peep", also makes a scolding "check check".

[top]Where to find

Can be found anywhere in suitable habitat, usually not far from water and in eucalypts and understory shrubs.

[top]Photographic Tips

Listen for the calls and then locate the birds in the trees. Requires patience to photograph but does come down into low vegetation, allowing brief opportunities.


Bell Miner feeding, Wilson Reserve, MelbourneBell Miner feeding, Wilson Reserve, Melbourne
Bell Miner, Wilson Reserve, MelbourneBell Miner, Wilson Reserve, Melbourne


Previous: White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons) Honeyeaters Next: Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)



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