Tag Archives: parents

Teen trouble

It has been apparent for a few days now that the adult Tuis no longer want to feed their young. The fledglings can be very insistent about wanting their parents to feed them. However the squeaking calls are fewer and generally less persistent.
But on two occasions this week there have been some very strident exchanges between parent and child. Mostly these exchanges have happened in the tulip magnolia tree and have been impossible to capture by camera but we have certainly heard great flapping, screeching, squawking and lots of branches and leaves crashing about.

Last evening a very dramatic exchange happened between fledgling and father on the fence and I managed some photos.

It began near the feeder, which was empty, and the father bird flew in as the fledgling was looking sadly at the empty dish. The father’s arrival caused the fledgling to fly on to the fence. At this point the fledgling is on the right in the photo.
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And squeaking all the time it approached the father bird along the fence.
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Feathers almost flew at this point and you can see the fledgling on the left at full spread, imploring Dad to feed it. Dad was having none of that and was equally loud and aggressive back at his offspring.
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Action was high.
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Then, just as suddenly as it began, the male adult flew off and the fledgling retreated to the magnolia.

I then refilled the feeder and heard the fledgling come down through the branches as it returned to seek some nourishment.
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I now recognise the mother and father birds but I am still unsure how many fledglings have been in and out of the tulip magnolia and feeding at the sugar water feeder. Four appeared in the garden during the days between the 6-8th February and I think there have been two different ones at the feeder in the past 10 days but like all teenagers they like to appear the same so I cannot be sure.
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Certainly the parents have finished with their brood and now I am watching for the development of the characteristic white wattle feathers at the throats of the young. These are the feathers that earned Tui the name of “Parson bird” by the early European settlers to New Zealand.

Parenting skills

I went back to the Aotea Lagoon for another walk in the sunshine and to see the Paradise duck family again.

Here is Mum standing guard while Dad is not so far away but guarding the other angles.

Clever birds. But where are the ducklings?

As usual they are between the parents but down in the water playing in a cove-like area of the stone edging, near a pipe outlet.

Suddenly, as small creatures do, it is time to explore other areas. Up on to the warm path.

After several dashes back to the water and back up to the path, the parents decide it is nap time.

They escort their brood across the path, but there is always one isn’t there?

But this baby knows its parents will not leave it behind, snoozing on the dangerous path. Come over here on the grass where there is less traffic.

Happily the wee ones snuggle together for nap time in the afternoon sun with Mum and Dad standing on guard once again. And Mum can even risk a little preening time.

Two and a quarter years

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life. And if that child is to keep alive an inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. – Rachel Carson

When I read this quote I immediately thought of my young grandson who is only two and a quarter years old and so full of wonder about every little thing in the world. He is so fortunate that he has parents and his extended family who share a commitment to ensure he will continue to be awed, surprised, excited and curious about the world. His interest and delight is contagious and uplifting.