On our outside deck or veranda the former owner has attached this home-made contraption ; a bird feeder made from plumbers pvc piping that swivels out, with a removable bowl. In it we were advised to put sugar water for the tuis that frequent our woody gully.
I love our native tui bird and its fantastic song. (pronounce tui as 'to-ee')
The old colonials gave them the name 'parson-bird' because the curly white throat feathers looked like the white dog-collar a parson or clergy-man wears. The name never stuck. The Maori name of tui did.
Here are some pictures I made from the living room and from the deck.
I am feeling very David Attenborough..
Well , I think they like my mixture, because I often have to top it up twice a day! I make the sugarwater by dissolving 1 cup of sugar(250ml) into 1 liter of hot water, I make enough to fill a 2.5 liter bottle, and I add a generous spoon of honey as well. I thought I'd put in a few nutrients at least.
They go through that in 1 week!
But when you have them at eye level and in the full light, that's when you see the shimmering iridescent greens and purply blues on their wings, tails and heads. Their bodies aren't black, but deep reddish-brown. And then there is their shoulder 'cape' of curly white feathers, as if they're ready to go to the opera.
There is much jostling and positioning at the feeder, this weekend there were 3 of them, and obvious ranks of importance are well in place.
Very lively birds, the tuis swoop through the trees chasing each other.
Often they just launch themselves down without opening their wings until the last moment.
They're the first thing I hear every morning, and although we might curse them on early summer mornings in the future, how delightful it isn't my former drunk neighbours that will wake me up!