Tag Archives: fledglings

Friday Fledglings

It is “that” time of year again in the garden. The time of year when the Blackbird fledglings are bumbling and stumbling out of their nests and are in various places around the garden.

I am so familiar with the “alarm” tweets of the parent birds warning of wandering cats or other dangers. But I am also now very familiar with the soft but gradually insistent “whistlely chirrups” of the fledglings.

Nature has dictated that baby blackbirds fledge with their tail feathers still to grow long and strong and their ability or skill to take shelter in high branches poorly formed. They do not look at all aware of the big bad world they have fluttered into.
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I feel for the hard working parents who have devotedly fed several babies and fattened them up beautifully only to then have to find them and feed them in the most obscure and often dangerous places.
Two days ago when the sun shone and the sky was intensely spring blue I could hear two fledglings calling. I found this one here in the Kowhai tree on the reserve on the other side of our fence.
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The other was amongst the maidenhair ferns beneath the old Magnolia tree. One quick photo here and I departed very quickly to avoid further stress to the birds.
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I scattered food for the hungry parent birds and wished them and their young very well.
I can hear more chirrups already this morning on a blustery spring day. The rain that is forecast for later in the day may help the dedicated parents find better supplies of worms and insects to nourish the family. . Meanwhile I will see what I can find to supplement the food supplies.

“Tui – A nest in the Bush” by Meg Lipscombe

Tui - A Nest in the Bush by Meg Lipscombe.

Tui – A Nest in the Bush by Meg Lipscombe.

Regular readers of my blog know of my interest in and love of Tui and other native New Zealand birds. As a child Tuis were very rarely seen but the persistent and devoted action of many people and organisations now sees these birds arriving in my garden and surrounding neighbourhood in increasing numbers. It is a joy.
So I was delighted to spot this newly published book in the Public Library. Meg Lipscombe’s stunning photos of a Tui nest and the breeding cycle have filled in more gaps in my knowledge of these colourful, spirited birds.
Meg lives in a remote part of New Zealand and discovered to her delight that she could photograph a Tui’s nest from her home’s balcony.

Female Tui sitting on two eggs.

Female Tui sitting on two eggs.


What followed was a successful recording over 37 days of newly laid eggs through to an empty nest as the fledglings took those final steps to growing independence.
Tui fledglings almost ready to leave the nest.

Tui fledglings almost ready to leave the nest.


Meg spent time speaking to the adult birds so that they grew accustomed to her respectful presence. For the reader she journalled about her observations.
The book is a first to capture this breeding cycle and it is not surprising to learn that Meg received a Fellowship from the Photographic Society of New Zealand in recognition of the excellence of her photographs.
Rick Thorpe wrote a very full and informative Introduction for the book covering many aspects pertaining to the bird, to its significance to Maori, to the health of our native forests and the critical importance of continued conservation efforts.
Anyone wanting to learn about Tuis will find this book, with its remarkable photos and written information, invaluable. It is a book to share with young children, for older children and adults to read and explore and enjoy.

Thursday Thrushling

Do you remember my post about Mr Thrush and his endless singing back in July this year?

It would appear that his dedication and choice of aria was well rewarded. He found a mate and together they have raised this little one I spied in the Bottle Brush tree. I have seen two thrushes in the garden regularly in the past weeks and they have often been carrying beaks full of worms and now I know why.
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