Tui Tucker

Some of our learned scientists are wondering if New Zealand is experiencing a “masting” season after a warm winter which has seen plenty of rain fall.
A “masting” season is when the native trees produce an exceptionally heavy crop of seeds thus providing abundant food for many of our native birds and ensuring the regeneration of native trees once the birds have eaten the seeds.
There is a downside to a “masting” season as numbers of rodents and ground dwelling predators have an abundant food supply too which means young birds are at greater risk.
Before seeds come flowers and a “masting” season could account for the bounty of Griselinia flowers in my garden and the abundance of kowhai flowers on every Kowhai tree at the moment.

These flowers on a tree in the St Alban’s Church grounds at Pauatahanui were feeding two Tui while I visited yesterday.



Such intense gold and delicate beauty providing nectar to the birds.


11 thoughts on “Tui Tucker

  1. Juliet

    How interesting if this is a masting season. I haven’t seen many kowhai yet in Auckland, probably because it’s been raining so much. I’m intrigued by the presence of holly in your photo. I always note where holly is growing as at winter solstice I like to cut some for our rituals, but they are becoming harder and harder to locate in Auckland, especially ones that produce berries. Love the close up photos of the kowhai. Have you got a special screw-on lens to take closeups?

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      There was a short piece in the paper about the possibility of a masting season and it marries up with what I am seeing in my garden with the Griselinia’s. I will have many, many more of them if they seed prolifically. I could see Grey Warblers eating the flowers today in glorious weather.
      This holly is most interesting Juliet. The early European settlers to the area(circa 1856) planted the holly and there is a holly hedge that borders the burial ground. The holly produces red berries, although some bushes in the hedge produce paler coloured berries! The local council are growing more plants from cuttings from the hedge to fill in gaps.
      I was thrilled with my photos of the kowhai flowers. It would seem that a dark background helps my little point and shoot camera focus very sharply with the macro on. The macro feature is a real plus on this camera. I have no extra lens. I yearn for a stronger zoom feature to reach my beloved birds.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      That is not good to hear. We have such an abundance. I counted 8 Tui in a nearby Kowhai tree on Thursday.

      And in breaking news a Tui visited our nectar feeder today so I hope it spreads the word:-))))

  2. Gallivanta

    Hooray for the Tui at the nectar feeder! The kowhai are stunning. You captured their loveliness so well. Can almost see kowhai honey dripping from them on to my toast 😉

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Thank you I was totally thrilled with the kowhai pics- so many pics are deleted but these worked!
      I have often thought that we should see nectar dripping from Tui beaks. I love your image of dripping Kowhai honey…..yum!

      1. Gallivanta

        I will be doing a post on this sometime but we were on the banks of the Avon this afternoon and looking at a restoration project that has begun.One of its aims is to help bring the Tui back to Christchurch. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had Tui in the middle of the city!!!!

      2. ordinarygood Post author

        I hope the aim is fulfilled. I used to dream of Tui visiting my garden here when we first shifted here. Now the air is a-whirr with them and many other native birds. It is a real joy.
        We have a small, spindly Kowhai tree with some flowers on it and this morning there were 4 Tui sharing its moderate bounty. The sun was showing their irridescent colours beautifully. I had gasped in amazement and enjoyment:-)
        I’ll look forward to your post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s