Tui Treats

A few weeks ago I purchased this feeder for our garden.
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The bottle contains sugar water which supplements food for the nectar feeding birds. It is my hope that the Tuis will visit the feeder during the months when their natural foods are scarcer.

Tui on flax

Tui on flax


We also lost our largest Kowhai tree in the June storm. It was a “maybe it can be saved” to a definite “no it cannot be saved” decision.DSCF5347
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While we have transplanted a teenage kowhai tree from the back of the section in to its place, it is unlikely to flower this season.
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So the sugar water feeder was another offering to the Tuis in lieu of the tree they have enjoyed in the past few seasons.
My plans have gone somewhat awry with spring bursting into fullness here weeks early. The Tuis are currently spoilt for choice as every local kowhai tree is laden with the golden nectar-bearing flowers they adore eating.
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On a positive note the tiny wax-eyes have thoroughly enjoyed the feeder. ( The sugar water is coloured with a minute drop of red food colouring to attract the birds.)

source: New Zealand pictures.com

source: New Zealand pictures.com

We do, however, provide another facility for the Tuis and many other birds, in a rather more unintentional way.
When the spouting or guttering that channels rainwater off the house roof was installed, mistakes were made. The length was slightly short and the fall to the down-pipe was too shallow. This results in rainwater pooling at the higher end of the spouting. This provides the best bird bath in the world if daily numbers of birds using it is anything to go by. The Tuis being the largest of the bathing birds make a huge din and splash the water vigorously on to the concrete and parked car two storeys below.
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So I may not be feeding the Tuis well at the moment but I am helping to keep them clean.

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17 thoughts on “Tui Treats

  1. Gallivanta

    It’s hard to get everything just right at exactly the right time! The feeder is very smart. The Tuis will find it eventually, once they have done with their bathing, and kowhai feasting.

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      The feeder is beautifully constructed and there is a larger one that we may add once the Tuis know where the “fast food” near the bath house is located.
      Batheing and feasting/drinking wildly sounds rather rascally doesn’t it? I have seen courtship behaviours too with great puffery of clean (;-) feathers!

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood Post author

        Lol….I do. Mr and Mrs Thrush are around the garden consuming worms and I suspect nesting:-) The sparrows wait for me and there is a male blackbird who I swear lurks and flies in as he hears the slider open. I toss out Jazz’s cast off cat food which they relish and sometimes a crust.

  2. kiwiskan

    You are right about the waxeyes. We have had a tui feeder set up for ages. The waxeyes love it but so far the tuis have always found enough food elsewhere…

    Reply
  3. Marianne

    What a shame about your Kowhai tree, but it looks as though you have made the best of a bad situation, Christine.

    I have always done my best to encourage birds to the garden. I call them “my little dinosaurs” 🙂

    Reply
  4. Leanne

    Sorry about your kowhai tree that is a shame it was lost due to the storm. You are going to get hours of fun out of your bird feeder – where did you buy it from?

    Reply
    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Thanks Leanne. I am always sad to lose a tree and this one attracted the Tuis when it flowered. However that is nature and change.
      http://www.backyardbirds.co.nz They have something for everyone or something for every garden and every bird!!! Great prompt and friendly service too plus loads of information on the website.

      Reply
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