Our Tui is back. I like to think of him (or is it a her?) as “our” tui because for the last few years he returns in the autumn and does not leave the area until summer time when I’m presuming he has to find food sources elsewhere.
When we shifted here 20 years ago I used to dream of having Tui in our garden and in the surrounding bushy areas. What I did not know at the time was that many, many people were working to make my dream come true. Our growing population of Tui thoughout the region is due to the establishment of wildlife and bird sanctuaries, the planting of native plants and trees and an ongoing predator eradication programme.
We have just experienced a long dry summer and autumn and the Tui’s return seems a little later than normal, so he is especially welcome this season. Last year we witnessed a Tui trio late in spring. We presume it was the parents with their young offspring.
Our neighbours have a large evergreen magnolia tree which the Tui loves to sit in and sing, sometimes up to an hour at a time. The Tui has a double voice box which allows it to sing the most beautiful fluting notes in addition to croaks, gurgles, twitters and squawks. His recitals are show stoppers and I am fortunate to have a front row seat only a 3 or 4 metres away from him.
We have planted two kowhai trees in our garden and are now nurturing several seedlings from these trees. I hope this small, ordinary contribution makes a difference in years to come in providing food for the growing Tui numbers and to our Tui and his/her families in the future.