It was a simple, ancient tale of good and bad - or more specifically two bellbird brothers and a blue-tongued lizard man called Lungkata.
There seemed genuine sadness in his eyes as he explained Uluru's spiritual meaning to the Anangu Aborigines who've lived beneath it for 22,000 years, and how clambering all over its sacred ground is as disrespectful to them as Lungkata was to the bellbird brothers when stealing their meat.
Bellbirds deposited 52% of the seeds they dispersed under habitual song perches in standing dead trees on the edges of treefall gaps [greater than]25 m from parent trees.
Consequently, bellbirds, the most likely species to disperse seeds to gaps, had a disproportionate influence on seedling recruitment.
These peaks corresponded to habitual song perches used by bellbirds (see Results: Microhabitat characteristics) that were located 40-70 m from fruiting trees in the years this study was conducted.
0 in 1995, for PC 1 were all dispersed by bellbirds into large gaps surrounding song perches.
The reserve is owned and maintained by ASEPALECO, a Costa Rican eco-group that hopes to create a series of biological corridors to protect the region's howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys and bellbirds
For male three-wattled bellbirds
, perches in open spots in Costa Rican forests are prime real estate for courtship displays.
a rope of breath rising and looping through the air; and long after he had begun the climb into the foothills, above the strange tinking of bellbirds
, the echo of it stayed with him.
from Central America make a call that sounds like a big, heavy church bell.
Seeds of the small-seeded tree Ocotea endresiana (Lauraceae) are dispersed preferentially to gap edges below standing dead trees (perches) by bellbirds
(Procnias tricarunculata), whereas four other bird species disperse the seeds at random with respect to canopy heterogeneity (Wenny & L evey, 1998).
We did it by a creek with bellbirds
singing but we weren't daft enough to dress up, hire two Rolls and a marquee and spoil the scenery.
Male bellbirds pick conspicuous perches to strut their stuff, often in gaps in the forest canopy.
A study of bellbirds that he and Wenny published in the May 26 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences represents the first documented example of directed dispersal for tropical trees, Levey says.
A seed that's dispersed by a bellbird has a better chance of surviving as a seedling," says Wenny These seedlings were only half as likely to catch a fungus disease, perhaps because bellbirds perch in relatively sunny spots.