Are You Sure This Tui Feeder Will Attract Tui ?

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.

11 Responses

  1. Gary Fawcett
    Gary Fawcett |

    Wow Rodney that is very impressive, love that you are helping people help the Tui’s.

    One question how do you stop Honey Bees robbing the sugar water? As beekeepers we wouldn’t want to cause a robbing frenzy for the local bees?

    Thanks for posting enjoyed the video.

    See ya…Gary

  2. John taylor
    John taylor |

    Finally got our tui feeder up, after trying it in the trees but just caused to many problems with branches as the trees are quite high, so made a L frame out of 2″ pvc piping, several attempts made, dfferent designs and finally got it up, had to strengthen it as it bent badly when the tui feeder was put on… 2 weeks in and the sparrows started getting interested and week later lots were feeding of the bread etc..the tui’s were in the trees watching but didnt do anything until the 4th week when 1 decided to try it, now we have as many as 10 at a time, lots of fighting and the feeder sways away, poor sparrows get chased away..they are there from early morning to late in the evening..great success and happy with the tui feeder did what it was designed to…we also have a few problems with the bees, as my neighbour has 2 hives using the mesh supplied helped bit I decided to try a finer one and the tui’s can still get in the dish ok with no problems..so far the bees cant get in there just buzz around it….we even had a few wax eyes and now fantails coming around…I found pears are a favorite with the tui’s and apples for the fantails and wax eyes……thanks Rodney for supplying us the feeder and just unreal seeing what these birds do…

  3. John taylor
    John taylor |

    We have had a few issues recently and had to remove the feeder for the time been…We used to have lots of tui’s around the feeder but there has been 2 tuis who have taken over and scare away any birds and fighting with other tui’s, lots are sitting in the trees waiting but one tui sits next to the feeder and dive bombs or flutters its wings around any bird, quite disappointing…but the main reason I have removed it for a while is the wasps, they have also taken over and swamed the nectar tray and any surrounding plants where the nectar water had fallen due to spillage, we cant even go onto our deck now incase we get stung, have searched for the hive around the bush area but so far no sitings, pest control cant do anything, I have placed the wire cover over it but they still come back…not sure what else I can do at this point…any suggestions welcomed…

  4. john taylor
    john taylor |

    Hi Rodney, couldnt find the nest but what i did was got a coke bottle filled it up with beer and jam with 2 small funnels on each side and taped it to 1 side of the feeder, so when the wasps were up there alot ended up in that wasps catcher, was a great success…right at this moment we have an very aggressive tui who has taken over the territory around the house and wont let any tui near the feeder or the big kowhai tree which is in full flower, the tui scares them away, quite disappointing and there isnt anything we can do..so far we have about 12 tui around here, and lots more of other birds than ever before.

  5. Rex
    Rex |

    I’ve found if you imitate or become the boss Tui by scaring it away noisily a number of times it’s busy watching you and lets others drink and other birds to use the territory. It only has to see me at the window or get up from my chair and will fly away or at least ease up on the aggression and let others feed. I’ve also noticed there is less aggression if the feeder is kept topped up.
    Good luck

    Rex

  6. john taylor
    john taylor |

    Hi Rodney,

    well last couple of months we have had an influx of tui’s, even some real young tui’s.. the main aggressive one seems to have disappeared, i found a couple of dead tui’s in the garden so wondered if it was that one…some days we seem to be going through 3L of juice, they are out there at 5am squawking away on the feeder, its quite funny watching them and they dont seem to care if we are outside on the deck they are there. We have a spear lily (Doryanthes palmeri ) which has massive flower heads and they just love it, often go outside and there will be 10 tui’s feeding from the flowers, truly is a good time of the season…

  7. peter
    peter |

    How do you stop cats getting at birds . In the video the catcher is on a fence , easy reach for cats . All I can think of is wrapping tin foil or similar around tree branches etc so cats cant claw up , but have to stop them leaping from branches .. Where we are would have to place well above fence height and develop a pole with container on to top up feeder . Your comments sought

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