Animal Friend of the Week: New Zealand Tui

 

spring-time-63201x

Tui are boisterous, medium-sized, common and widespread bird of forest and suburbia – unless you live in Canterbury. They look black from a distance, but in good light tui have a blue, green and bronze iridescent sheen, and distinctive white throat tufts (poi). They are usually very vocal, with a complicated mix of tuneful notes interspersed with coughs, grunts and wheezes. In flight, their bodies slant with the head higher than the tail, and their noisy whirring flight is interspersed with short glides.

Distribution and habitat

Tui are widespread and locally abundant on the North, South and Stewart Islands, and their offshore islands; they are scarce only in drier, largely open, country east of the Southern Alps. Tui are present on the Kermadec and Auckland Islands, and there is a larger subspecies endemic to the Chatham Islands. Tui are absent on the Poor Knights Islands probably due to the very high density of bellbirds there competing for a limited nectar resource. Tui are found in native forest and scrub (sometimes in exotic forests), and in rural gardens, stands of flowering kowhai and gums, and in suburban parks and gardens. There is much local movement, when tui follow a seasonal succession of flowering or fruiting plants. They usually nest in native forest and scrub, but will commute more than 10 km daily to feed on rich sources of nectar.

Breeding

Eggs are laid from September to January. The nest, built by the female, is a rough bulky structure of twigs and sticks, lined with fine grasses, high in the canopy or subcanopy. The clutch is 2-4 white or pale pink eggs, marked with reddish-brown spots and blotches. Incubation and brooding is by the female only. Chicks are initially fed only by the female, but later the male helps to feed them.

Behaviour and ecology

Tui are notoriously aggressive, and will defend a flowering or fruiting tree, or a small part of a large tree, from all-comers, whether another tui or another bird species. They vigorously chase other birds away from their feeding territory with loud whirring wings. Tui have a display flight, in which they fly upwards above the canopy, and then make a noisy, near-vertical, dive back into the canopy. Tui play a very important role in the dynamics of New Zealand forests because they are one of the most common pollinators of flowering plants, and also disperse the seeds of trees with medium-sized fruits.

NZ Birds

We are now well into spring and I can see the tuis flying around in the park across the road.  Not to mention hearing them all the time.

Animal Friend of the Week Challenge Logo-

I want to showcase our animal kingdom.  It runs from Tuesday New Zealand time and is weekly.  You can join in anytime at all over the week.  You can post your furry friends (babies), wild animals, birds, insects and butterflies.  Even reptiles are welcome.

Just use this logo and link back to this blog.

I look forward to seeing all the different animals around the world

Thanks for visiting.

Advertisements

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: The Power of One

spring-in-ebbet-park-28301x

Good morning from a cloudy spring day here in Hastings.

Yesterday was lovely – so warm that I went for a walk at lunch time in the park across the road to take some photos.  Here are some that I found that was perfect for Cee’s monochrome challenge. First up is this rather vocal tui.  They are very busy at the moment.  I can see them flying around in their mating ritual from my computer desk.

spring-in-ebbet-park-26601x

Then I stalked this magpie.  I haven’t really seen them around here in town.  I have seen a lot of them flying around during my weekly drive down to Otane.  But never here in Hastings. So I tiptoed up to it.  But it was smart and would go in the opposite direction whenever I got too close to it.  And that included up in this tree.

spring-in-ebbet-park-04601x

And of course I had to add a floral – this magnolia. At least with blooms all I have to contend with is the wind.

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Isolated Objects

Thanks for visiting.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Yellow

DSCF5715 (640x477)

Good morning from a very bright sunny Hastings morning.  A huge change from what we have been having all week.  I’m not complaining.

This week we have the colour yellow for Cee’s challenge.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Color Yellow

So the first photo is of our native bird the tui surrounded by the yellow kowhai flowers which they just can’t get enough of.

IMG_0254 (526x640)

IMG_0253 (526x640)

These two photos were taken with my iPhone 5S and edited with Tangled FX.

IMG_0236 (640x473)

Finally a splash of colour against the water.

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/cees-fun-foto-challenge-the-color-yellow/

http://nowathome.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/cees-fun-foto-challenge-the-color-yellow/

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Yellow (Ducks)

http://geophiliac.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/cees-fun-foto-yellow/

Thanks for visiting.

cees-fun-foto

Cheers

A Photo a Week: Nature’s Music

Nature's Music - Tui

This week the prompt from Nancy is music.  I don’t have photos of human musicians but found this photo of our native Tui that I took on Wednesday.

I love going into the park and just listen to the music of the birds.  It is spring now and the birds are especially loud as they carry out their courtships.  Tuis are the loudest of all.  They swoop around in pairs and stop to feast on the golden kowhai trees which are particularly sweet flowers.  I actually just stood at one point with my eyes closed just to listen to the beautiful music.  It is very restful and calming on the soul.

You can check out this challenge at Nancy’s blog.

http://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/a-photo-a-week-music/

Edited with Perfect Affects 8 and Photoscape.

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Travel Theme: Yellow

DSCF6603DSCF6622

Good morning from a grey and miserable day here in Hastings.

So to brighten up my day again I have gone for the challenge by Where’s my backpack? and the theme this week is yellow.  And to keep up with my kiwi theme as well I have gone for New Zealand natives for both fauna and florals.

These photos were taken last spring when the kowhai were out in full bloom.  They are a popular flower for a lot of the birds but in particular for the tui.  The tui is also called the parson bird as it has a small tuft of white feathers under it’s beak just like a ministers collar.

I could also put this in the Look Up, Look Down challenge by Debbie at Travel with Intent.  As here are some photos of the reflections of the tree in the stream beneath it.  The colours were amazing.

DSCF6273

DSCF6597

I spent a lot of time around here.

For more information about this challenge check out this blog

Travel theme: Yellow

And some other great blogs:

http://shyraven23.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/travel-theme-yellow/

http://emiliopasquale.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/travel-theme-yellow/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/travel-theme-yellow/

http://woollymuses.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/travel-theme-yellow/

http://geophiliac.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/travel-theme-yellow/

Not So Mellow Yellows

http://scrapydo.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/yellow-travel-theme/Thanks for visiting.

Final watermark for blog