That’s the question I was asked one morning several years ago upon receiving a phone call off one of our adverts in the New Zealand Gardener. The caller introduced himself as Pat and then followed on from his opening question with this statement, “aren’t they a bit expensive!”. It was obvious that he wasn’t one […]
Often we get feedback from clients from all parts of New Zealand but its hard to beat the enthusiasm of Pat and Di who have a lovely home situated in a picturesque cul de sac in Bayview on Auckland’s Northshore. On my first visit I was amazed at the large number of […]
A few days back whilst toiling away in my workshop I spotted two kereru or wood pigeons land in a gleditsia tree about 35 metres down the back lawn. At the time I was busy making up tui feeder orders so decided to admire them from a distance and continue with my work. This was […]
Whilst working in my workshop this afternoon my ears pricked up when I heard NewstalkZB talk back host Danny Watson announced that it was tech Tuesday. Tech Tuesday is an opportunity for ZB listeners to tell the rest of New Zealand about their new projects and bright ideas. During my younger years I would ring […]
Obviously firstly I would have to say … “get yourself a tui feeder” however there are other ways which include planting nectar bearing trees like kowhai, bottle brush, banksia or native flaxes to name just a few. Alternatively you could simply put out a bowl of sugared water but it needs to be under cover otherwise the first down pour will dilute the mixture. That’s fine for the spring and summer months but after that ? Never fear we have a “solution” and yes, please excuse the pun.
It was about 2009 when I erected our first prototype tui feeder and I’ve been captivated by these colourful characters ever since. I guess now I can lay claim to being somewhat of an tui expert.
My advice to new clients is to position their feeder as close as possible to where the tui land and once they’ve had their first drink they will just keep coming back for more. After that re position it where ever and they will seek it out as I’ve proven on numerous occasions. Believe it or not it also helps if you keep it topped up ! Really I jest not, its like a car folks “it won’t go if it ain’t got juice”.
When visiting our feeder the tui always land in the tree directly above it and once they’re confident that they they have safe passage they will fly down, this one below is doing just that, waiting.
As a keen photographer I love having these birds dropping by as it gives me a constant supply of models who are only too happy to pose for a small fee consisting of a little sugar and water.
The soft light of early morning or evening is when I like to set the camera up as the wonderful array of colours within the tui’s plumage is shown to best effect as can be seen on the images below. Often I set up other props on or around the feeder to get a variety of shots …. its challenging but great fun and the tui seem to enjoy it as well. No I don’t have names for them as yet !
Attached a branch to the side of the tui feeder to get this tentative pose below.
As winter approaches tui and other birds will be searching for extra food so now’s a great time to add a feeder to your garden and makes things a little easier for these guys over the colder months. Click here to see the complete range or here to see what many satisfied clients have to say ….
We’ve owned these hens since they were day old chicks and its rather sad to see them go but we just have too many. Some months ago several clients placed orders for day old chicks but when they were two weeks old and ready to be collected they advised that the no longer wanted them. Now we need to sell some of our existing flock which is earlier than intended as they are only 15 months old.
These hens are not for eating and only for sale to those who can provide them them with a good home.
For collection you will need to bring a good sized box, cat cage or similar.
They are $20.00 each, vaccinated and in excellent condition.
Click here to place your order or here to see what others are saying.
As winter is almost on our back doors once again I thought this would be an opportune time to re post a couple of our most popular tui videos. As they do at Christmas orders go a little crazy just now. No need to worry mind because if you want one for yourself, a family member or friend I’ll get it made. Our feeders are a unique birthday gift that will last for years to come.
We send them anywhere and everywhere in New Zealand.
Some of our most recent orders have gone to tui watchers in ….
I’ve been so busy of late that I forgot to follow up on my last post so here’s a brief update.
As mentioned then I decided to refill our feeders a month earlier than last year due to the very dry summer we’ve experienced. The landscape around here like elsewhere in the country is very parched and dry and there certainly doesn’t seem to be much food about for the birds. If the number of half eaten tomatoes in our garden is anything to go by I’d say that all the birds are hungry and looking for food and moisture. Twenty four hours is all the time it took for this tui to land on the feeder and take a drink.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a tui feeder now is an ideal time to get it set up in time for winter. Our complete range can be viewed here.
After four months of hanging idle the tui feeders in our garden look slightly ragged but after a quick scrub they’re looking like new again. Could say a little bit like myself first thing in the morning.
Last year I filled the tui feeders in early April and within half an hour tui arrived to have their fill. Several weeks back I noticed a solitary tui land on the feeder so I thought this year I would go through the exercise a little earlier to see what would happen.
Four hours have passed and not so much as the slightest hint of a tui or any bird for that matter. Our neighbours cat Leo probably hasn’t helped as he’s been lazing about waiting for his next meal of tasty rabbit. We have a burrow that goes under the deck. When the young ones first venture out to explore the exciting new world that awaits them he is ready to welcome them. Better that than yours truly having to hunt them down because they ultimately end up in my lettuce patch.
As I write this post the sun is about to set and still no action. Perhaps better luck tomorrow. Leo has made tracks as the rabbits have stayed put so its dinner in a can for him.
To all the tui out there your dinner is ready and waiting.
Much to the delight of local tui the Taiwanese Cherry tree in our garden is once again show casing the arrival of spring with a beautiful display of blossoms. During the last few weeks I’ve taken “a little” time out, can’t say how much as I’m supposed to be working, to admire and photograph them enjoying it’s nectar. On a dull day tui appear to be “just another black bird” with a couple of tuffs of white but get up close and you’ll see them in a different and amazing light.
A good sense of balance helps ….
“Yes not only do I look good but I can sing ….. dare I suggest that I’m the Andrea Bocelli of the bird world”.
…. as does flexibility. Having the right trees in your garden will help to attract these beautiful birds as will our purpose designed tui feeders.
It was an early morning back in April when I set about refilling the Tui feeders in our garden for the usual influx of our cheeky friends. Like clockwork every year they drop by to see that we’ve not forgotten to put their food out. With summer over there’s less naturally occurring food about for any hungry birds. After I’d completed the refill I sat down to enjoy my breakfast and pondered how long it might take the tui to discover that the feeders that had been empty since November were primed up and awaiting their patronage. I reckoned it might be a day or so but my guess was well off the mark.
Twenty minutes was all the time it took for a male tui to arrive. I’m sure that they must watch my movements around the property and know when it’s dinner time. Tui are a amazing bird so there’s little wonder that they are one of the most popular. If you would like to attract some to your garden this winter click here to check out our range of feeders.
If you’ve ever kept hens you will have experienced the problem of them eating their own eggs. Not only is it very frustrating it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are a few strategies that I’ve employed over the years.that have worked well.
Find the culprit and administer a “Mary Queen of Scots”. No, I’m joking but as a last resort you may need to cull out the offending bird or birds.
Ensure that nesting boxes have a good layer of straw or wood shavings so that eggs don’t come into contact with hard surfaces. We use untreated pine wood shavings to a depth of about 10 cm. Eggs are often broken whilst or shortly after being laid. A nesting box for every 4 to 5 birds is recommended.
Put some fake eggs or golf balls in the boxes as trying to eat these will dampen any chicken’s enthusiasm.
Have a plentiful supply of grit, we sell oyster grit for $20 a large 20 kg bag, pickup only. Let your girls obtain their calcium needs from this rather than the shells of their own eggs. Most commercial poultry feed manufacturers add grit but I don’t believe its adequate.
Set up a grit station within your coop so hens have access 24/7. Grit is essential to aid digestion and in the formation strong healthy shells.
If possible collect eggs regularly during mid and late morning. Doing this will lessen the chances of them being broken and eaten.
If you’ve found this information helpful please leave a comment.
When it comes to growing tomatoes I thought I knew 95% of what there was to know but it seems that seasoned gardeners like myself can still learn a thing or two. If someone had told me that some of my tomatoes were affected by cat-facing I would have told them to quit pulling my laterals. Even as I write this I’m bemused that after 40 plus years of growing toms I’ve never heard the term “cat-facing”. Obviously I’m no expert when it comes to this however after having undertaken a little research I’m slightly better informed. I have noticed this phenomenon before but it’s never concerned me as we don’t sell tomatoes therefore ascetics are a non issue and it certainly doesn’t affect the flavour. My view on tomatoes is “they don’t have to look wonderful but they do need to taste wonderful “. Cutting out all the the ugly bits is just part of enjoying delicious home grown tomatoes. Sure the supermarket variety look perfect but when it comes to the all important taste test they fail dismally.
From what I’ve read cat-facing appears to be a physiological disorder that causes scars and cavities at the blossom end of the fruit. It can be linked to poor growing conditions such as soil, weather, and fluctuations in temperature during the early stages of flower and bud development. Other fruits including apples and stone fruits can be also be affected. In our garden it appears to be more prevalent amongst the larger fleshy heirloom tomatoes like Brandy-wine and Black Krim, I’ve never seen it on hybrids such as Beefsteak or Money Makers. Excess nitrogen levels also appear to be a factor so my decision this year to ease up on chicken manure which is high in nitrogen probably was a good one. I did this not because of cat-facing but rather the high incidence of blossom end rot during the 2012/13 season. This year I only spotted one tomato with it but that’s a success story for another day.
That’s the question I was asked one morning several years ago upon receiving a phone call off one of our adverts in the New Zealand Gardener. The caller introduced himself as Pat and then followed on from his opening question with this statement, “aren’t they a bit expensive!”. It was obvious that he wasn’t one to mince his words so I decided that my response needed to be equally direct, yet to the point. He sounded likeable enough so I felt comfortable that a frank but light hearted approach would be the way to go.
I replied, “of course they work, wouldn’t be selling them if they didn’t”. I bet he’d heard that one before!. His second question received my standard response, “you get what you pay for Pat, this feeder will last for a long time whereas that cheap “made in China” one will fall apart in a couple of years”. Just more plastic junk in the landfill.
That out of the way he went on to explain that they had lots of tui around and were looking for an effective way to feed them. The conversation ended with me giving him an undertaking that if the tui feeder didn’t perform we’d give him a refund. I thought he’d place an order there and then but no Pat wasn’t going to be rushed, he wanted a bit more time.
It was about three days later when he phoned to say that he wanted to get one. At the time orders were a little slow so I was able to get a deluxe pole mounted model on its way within about a week.
Two days later Pat rang again and said something like this, can’t remember his exact words. “That feeder is working well and we have tui using it already, it’s only been a couple of days “. I had to bite my tongue as I really wanted to say “why are you surprised, I told you it would work”. He was excited and we had a good long chat about this wonderful new addition to his garden. Back then my feelings were those of satisfaction and a sense of a job well done as a contented client is the ultimate accolade..
However in our wildest dreams we certainly didn’t expect chaos quite like this !
Special thanks to Pat and Di for allowing us to use this amazing footage.
To view the complete range of tui feeders visit our garden shop or if you want some feedback from some happy clients.