Early Return For Tui

During spring and summer I fill our tui feeders with water for the other birds about the place because tui don’t use them. Until recently I held the view that they wouldn’t from early December through to about April as there was ample food elsewhere however I’ve been proven wrong. I know you will find it hard to believe but it does happen sometimes. Please don’t mention this to my “trouble and strife”.

Two weeks ago we noticed a tui alight on one of the feeders but upon tasting “just water” it quickly flew off. That afternoon I made up some sugared water with the hope that our visitor would return. Sure enough and on queue 24 hours later the same tui was back.

Just yesterday I had a phone call from a client Pat on Auckland’s North Shore and he confirmed that apart from October of last year tui have been constantly using their two way feeder . So much so that he and his wife Di have to refill the 1.5 litre bottle daily. This feedback also put paid to my previous theory. They took this shot recently through their dining room window.

If you have a tui feeder in your garden I’d suggest cleaning and filling it up as the tui won’t be too far away.

4 Responses

  1. Julia Raymer
    Julia Raymer |

    The tuis have been enjoying our tui feeder all summer (what summer? :)) Unfortunately I have had to take it down as the wasps now are hungry for it too. Has anyone got any suggestions on keeping the wasps away? I feel quite mean taking the enjoyment away from our tuis, however like last year,hopefully I will be able to put the feeder back at the end of May, no more wasps then.

  2. Tony
    Tony |

    Julia: I have the same problem. I have tried the tui feeder that you can buy from the tiri tiri matangi shop (on line) –that keeps the wasps/bees out because it has very fine entry points for the tui’s long curved beak. However, the tui at my place will not go near it. I can’t understand why. So like you I’m waiting for late May when the wasps are gone. Perhaps that is a good thing because the winter is really tough for tui—they really need support at that time of year because there is so little feed and nectar around.

  3. Julia Raymer
    Julia Raymer |

    Tony,
    Thanks for the reply – sorry have been away for a bit. Interesting that the tuis don’t appreciate your efforts in keeping out the wasps. :) I have also stopped putting out apple for the other birds as the wasps love that too. Yes, I agree,I will again await the winter for the sugar water, apple and fat to help out the birds – they enjoy it all as much as much as we do!

  4. Julia Raymer
    Julia Raymer |

    I hung out my tui feeder again yesterday, hopefully now after the frosts and cold the wasps will have gone. Walked inside and looked out and two wax eyes were already having a drink. This morning a very heavy frost, however the feeder catches the first sun and the tuis obviously enjoy the sun like we do. 3 have already visited it for a drink as well as 2 bell birds,(separate birds ??) all before 11.00am. Wonderful to see them enjoying the feeder.

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