A Tui Hui

For those of you reading from beyond New Zealand, the Maori word “Hui” means a gathering.

Yesterday the local Tuis flocked to the sugar water feeder. It was something of a competition to see how many could perch on the feeder and gain access to the sugar water.

I think this photo shows the maximum number who had artfully arranged themselves on the structure.
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Others were on the fence or in the nearby Magnolia tree awaiting a space to open up!
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A right royal treat

The past few days have seen an increase in visits to the sugar water feeder by Tui and an even greater increase in aggression from these fascinating birds. The poor sparrows have been swooped at and seen out of a tree and off the property. The sparrows really are innocent of any crimes, just victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time at the moment.

However today at times the air has been thick with Tui drinking from the feeder.
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I have lost count of the number of refills I have already done today and the sun has not yet set!

My suspicion is that the first of this season’s fledglings are now independent of feeding by their parents but their parents have shown them the feeder. Some researchers indicate that while Tui are generally solitary birds there are times when families of Tui can be seen together.
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Food sources may have dwindled a little before the next food options become abundant.
Nesting and feeding new babies is definitely in full swing so parents are doubly hungry. It has been very windy and quite chilly for the past few days meaning the birds’ energy supplies are sapped quickly.

Here are a few photos from today’s gatherings at the feeder. It has been a very entertaining day.
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Family time at the Lake

It is 12 days since I visited the local Lake and took some photos of the Australian Coot family and other water fowl.
Today near the edge of the lake was a parent and one chick.
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Look at the size of those big paddling feet. It is no wonder that the Coot chicks can scoot along like little speed boats at times.
There was no sign of the other parent or the second chick so I decided to walk around the path further in the hope that I would find them on the more sheltered side of the rushes.
No luck there but I could see the Pukeko family together in bulrushes much closer to the path. I set off in that direction but rounded a corner to see this family heading my way.
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Caution was the option I took and after taking two photos of the high-stepping proud parents and their fluffy cygnets I retraced my footsteps and left the swans to their outing.
As I neared the path back to the shopping centre I spotted the two Australian Coot parents and both chicks.
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Feeding the young ones was very much the business of the day. The parents repeatedly dived to pluck weed or vegetation to offer to the peeping chicks.DSCF1240 (640x480) (640x480)

Then one of the chicks swam off in a very independent manner to balance on a bulrush and peck at the foliage or perhaps to rest up with a full belly.
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