Too many tui? Never!

Aug 7th, 2013 | By | Category: News

Tui Dynes Fulton sent this splendid picture of a gaggle of tui helping themselves to breakfast outside his kitchen window. The Waikato District Council deputy mayor says his wife bought the bird feeder from Tamahere Market last November and it was not long before they had visits from keen tui who had been hovering among the flax and kowhai trees.

The only birds that feed at the station are tui and wax eyes. “They drink two bottles – rather I have limited it to that – of sugar water a day. A third to half a cup of sugar per 750mm wine bottle. They are most active in the early morning and after about 4pm. In effect the first bottle is empty by about late morning and I do not put the second one out until I get home, around 4pm.”

The tui have been visiting in spring for the past seven years but in the past two years there have been several pairs living close by, he says. The property, in Tamahere, is on the edge of a large gully system and the garden itself is planted in native trees.

"We'd rather drink Tui than sugar water..."  - Yeah Right.

“We’d rather drink Tui than sugar water…” – Yeah Right.

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5 Comments to “Too many tui? Never!”

  1. trish says:

    Hi I brought one of these tui feeders from a fair at Waikanae 2 or 3 years ago and would love to buy one for my son in law. Please where can I buy another.
    Cheers Trish

  2. Dianne Langridge says:

    We started feeding our local Tui and wax eyes this winter, over the last few months. Dripping and fresh fruit for the wax eyes… very popular, and the sugar water for the Tui, attracting up to 8-10 Tui. Their antics have been such fun to watch. However, early August, they have almost disappeared, only getting a couple of visitors a day, visiting. We’ve noticed the cherry trees are beginning to blossom in our area. Would this be the reason for the drop in numbers, as they seek out other sources of nectar? It’s a bit sad, as the comedy show seems over for now!

    • N8N says:

      Hi Dianne, yes, the tui have probably found something else to feed up on, but don’t worry, they’re sure to be back next winter! Some of the ornamental cherry varieties don’t have much nectar, but we’ve got a Taiwanese cherry (deep pink flowers) that has up to four tui in it at the moment, so it could be your birds have found some of those.

  3. Bobbi Allen says:

    Hi,
    I have also bought one of these bird feeders a few years back. It has worked really well, and as I only have one, I am putting out about 4 bottles a day, for this year, but last year it went mad with 8 bottles a day, but have not succumed to that again!!!
    I have friends who would like to buy one of this particular style of bird feeder, which I bought at the Central Hawkes Bay Craft Fair, quite a number of years ago, but I cannot see any bird feeders on the list for this year.
    I would appreciate your assistance on this.
    Thanks.
    Bobbi Allen

  4. N8N says:

    Hi Bobbi, I’m not sure where you could find one exactly the same, but there’s an outfit called Backyard Birds who have something similar – see https://www.backyardbirds.co.nz/tui-feeder1.htm. Alternatively Oderings also sell a wooden tui feeder – https://m.oderings.co.nz/Shop/bird-feeders-food-supplements/Wild-Bird-Tui-Bottle-Feeder-__I.194014__C.12296__N.142220.
    Dynes told me the other day he’s had a bellbird visiting, which in the central Waikato is pretty special! A backyard bird feeder is definitely entertaining, we’ve put up a home-made one, but only waxeyes are visiting it so far – haven’t been able to lure the tuis away from the Taiwanese cherry round the back of the house!

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