Part of the successful resurgence in the Tui population can be attributed to their preparedness to eat food that is not part of the native smorgasbord on offer.
At the moment a neighbour’s spreading Protea tree (Proteas are South African natives but which can grow very well in New Zealand) is a fine dining table for the Tuis.
The flowers begin as cones.
Once open they are very fluffy looking inside
And each part of the flower has a slightly fluffy quality to it.
I have been watching the Tuis feed in this tree and it appears that they pop their curved beak in between the sides of these flowers rather than supping from the open top.
Somewhere beneath the fluffy interior must be sweet nectar. The pickings must be very good as they dine there everyday, visiting many times in the day and they sing and whistle endlessly giving thanks for their splendid meals.
I’ve got a protea in, but it’s very close to the house. I’ll have to put in some more
Being close to the house may not deter the Tuis. Our Bottle brush bushes are within a metre or so of the house and they feast there quite happily. They are certainly relishing the Proteas across the road right now:-)))
Those tuis know a thing or two about a well set table;). How lovely to have beautiful birds and flowers so close to you. Stunning photos of the protea. They make me want to dive in like a tui.
I am very fortunate to live with lots of lovely birds and gardens nearby. The Protea does look a cosy place to hunker down inside.
Those flowers are incredible!
Follow the Protea link in my post Jo and see all the other dramatic varieties that exist. They can be fickle to grow but once in the right spot they like New Zealand. I guess we have a similar latitude and climate to that of South Africa.
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Reblogged this on Tuis in my garden.