I have been fortunate in the past three or more years to hear the beautiful song of the Korimako, New Zealand Bellbird. Eventually I spotted one in the garden but it was a fleeting view as this fast moving bird was there and gone.
Two very tall Bottle Brush trees in neighbouring gardens provide food for our nectar feeding birds, especially the Tui and Bellbird.
My attempts to photograph a Bellbird have been futile so far. But today our lovely visiting Bellbird ( or perhaps more than one) has been in and around the garden and singing temptingly close by.
With cold winter light offering little assistance I ventured out with my camera to try and locate Korimako feeding in the tree across the road. The zoom on my camera is very good and I was able to gain one photo.
I crossed the road carefully and stood a way off from the tree believing that the bird would be fearful and take flight. However food was a stronger pull and with plenty of foliage to hide safely in I was able to move closer and closer without causing the bird to fly away.
My luck held and I came home with some pleasing photographs and the great sense of achievement gained from ticking a “wanted bird” off the list.
I have included a link to a sound clip of the clear, bell like song of this very special New Zealand native bird.
My friendly and brave Tui who featured in my blog post yesterday was also happy to show me various other poses. I suspect the Tui was really on watch for intruders approaching the feeders but also for the small flying insects that they catch as part of their varied diet.
Tui are not known for being sweet “smiling”, benign birds. Rather they are well known for their aggression and territory dominance. Their beauty in colour, feathering and song draws many of us in to love them and be fascinated by them. Enjoy this grumpy bird image!
Yesterday there were plenty of Tui visiting the garden and singing in good voice. The weather was pleasantly dry and calm and out I went with my camera.
My intention was to record a single Tui singing and upload that to You Tube which means readers of my blog can access this special bird and its marvellous song.
The first video clip here shows a Tui in their favourite Tulip Magnolia tree which is very close to the sugar water feeders. I was fortunate to find a Tui on a branch relatively close to me and easily seen. I pressed record but realised that, in fact, there were at least two other Tui singing in the same tree as well as another across the road in the Pohutukawa tree.
At one point in the video you can see my singer pause, listen to the song of another bird and then begin her/his tune again.
Luck was even more on my side later in the day when I spied a Tui in the deciduous Magnolia we have in our garden. I have been securing pieces of fruit on a few branches of this tree to attract the Tauhou(Silvereyes) to feed. Tui are always curious about red or orange objects and this one I suspect had been to check out the half orange.
This Tui (You tube clip here)sings a very familiar song to me indicating that she/he has been visiting the garden for more than a year. The floor was hers/his and even with a minor embarrassment part way through the recital, the performance went on in true theatrical fashion.
I hope you enjoy hearing some of the remarkable notes and sounds these birds can make with their double voice box. If you think you are seeing the bird’s beak move at times but can hear nothing that is also possible as some of their notes can be beyond our human hearing range.
I never grow tired of hearing these delightful birds singing long and often.
Many readers of my blog will know how much I enjoy feeding the Tui and taking photographs of these iconic and special New Zealand birds.
As word has got about in the Tui world that we have two sugar water feeders on offer, the number of birds visiting each day to drink their fill has risen. Antics at the feeders have increased substantially too.
Moulting season has come and gone this year and with it a small but delightful collection of feathers have been left in my garden.
Here is a selection from my collection:
Filamentous feathers of a Tui’s white, double tufted curled feather wattle
Filoplume feather from a Tui’s “shawl” around its neck and across its upper back
Wing or tail feathers showing some iridescence
Soft brownish breast or underbelly feathers showing some iridescence
Possibly fledgling’s soft downy feathers?
And in other feathery news I have spotted a Bellbird investigating the feeder and also checking out the bottle brush bushes….no photos…..or Bellbird feather treasure……yet…..