Tag Archives: courtship

Darby and Joan

There is definitely a change out there in the bird-o-sphere. The Sparrows and Blackbirds have been seen arguing over possible mates as the breeding season approaches even though for the humans it feels very much like the depths of winter, with spring a long way away.
In the past week the Tuis have changed their behaviours noticeably too. Groups have been visiting the Magnolia tree with all manner of chasing and flapping and branch hopping. There has been an increase in singing from the tops of trees as witnessed here.
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Then yesterday after hearing several long courting and wooing choruses I spotted these two, all puffed up and looking like an old married couple. My Mum would use the term “Darby and Joan” to describe this scene.
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Tui do not like to share space, especially as the males are establishing their territories in which to breed right now. So to see two birds sitting side by side so amicably was a surprise.

The cosy scene was quickly shattered as a rival bird flew into the tree.
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This caused the female companion to flee and the male to look above to see where trouble lay.
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Within seconds the tree was empty of Tui again.

Did you spot the sparrow photo-bombing in the last photo?

I spotted Darby and Joan together in the garden this morning again but they flew away too quickly for me to photograph.

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