|Copyright: Nicki Mora (greychick)
|Date Taken: 2008-09-30|
|Exposure: f/7.1, 1/250 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2008-10-06 1:18|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|You know for years I have thought, that tui's were black birds, with a white tuft. Well I was so very wong, because when you get up close with a lens and the brist sunlight on those feathers, then you discover, as I did this day, that they are indeed very colourful. in fact they have the most beautiful colours. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and well I guess you have to take the time to behold, to actually see the beauty.|
For more info go to http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/page.aspx?id=32890
Facts about tui
Tui at feeding trough, Little Barrier Island
Tui are unique (endemic) to New Zealand and belong to the honeyeater family, which means they feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants such as kowhai, puriri, rewarewa, kahikatea, pohutukawa, rata and flax. Occasionally they will eat insects too. Tui are important pollinators of many native trees and will fly large distances, especially during winter for their favourite foods.
Tui will live where there is a balance of ground cover, shrubs and trees. Tui are quite aggressive, and will chase other tui and other species (such as bellbird, silvereye and kereru) away from good food sources.
An ambassador for successful rejuvenation
A good sign of a successful restoration programme, in areas of New Zealand, is the sound of the tui warbling in surrounding shrubs. These clever birds are often confusing to the human ear as they mimic sounds such as the calls of the bellbird. They combine bell-like notes with harsh clicks, barks, cackles and wheezes.
Courting takes place between September and October when they sing high up in the trees in the early morning and late afternoon. Display dives, where the bird will fly up in a sweeping arch and then dive at speed almost vertically, are also associated with breeding. Only females build nests, which are constructed from twigs, fine grasses and moss.
Where can Tui be found
The tui can be found throughout the three main islands of New Zealand. The Chatham Islands have their own subspecies of tui that differs from the mainland variety mostly in being larger.
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